Sunday, February 3, 2013

Molluscan Inspiration

Pictured, two cowry shells.  The one on the left is Bistolida stolida stolida, measuring about an inch in length, and on the right is Erronea pulhella pulchella,  provided that the names have changed.  Ah, shoot!  If I'm to be scientific here, the measurement is 3 cms! the right specimen is 4cm. Cowries went through a wholesale scientific name changes a few years ago.  Enough of the mumbo jumbo.

Why am I posting this?  Two reasons.  One, I like cowries.  I find the patterns and coloration amazing that an organism such as a mollusc can produce so much variation.  How do they accomplish this and why?  Most of the time the shell is covered by the mantle, the organ that secretes the material to build and color the shell, so patterns and colors are mostly not visible.  Second, I recently purchased some enamels and want to try to use the colors and patterns as a design basis.  Not to try and copy nature, but to use it as inspiration.  I have no idea how things will turn out.  Just have to wait and see.  I won't try to imitate the shape of the shell.  I'll start with flat disks of copper with a hole for a jump ring and try with a combination of torch firing and kiln firing.  I think the weather will be cooperative and it will be warm enough to work in the garage (the second studio), where the hot stuff is used.

Also, got in some of the Sellegant brand of metal coloring agent and I may try that for the above.  Lots of experimental things to try.  

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