This where I ended my work the other day. I’ve tried different placement and patterns with the shells I had selected. The more I finish, the more I can make alterations in my plan. The over all design has stayed the same, I just think the differences I’m making will improve the look. In addition, errors or misjudgments have become very clear.
For example, see the teal colored shells on the four corners? I had planned on the diamond shape being larger, however I fell asleep on the job and made them smaller by mistake. Today, I carefully added another row of dyed teal cup shells around the sliced Strombus.
In this picture, I have two completed sections with the extra shells. You can see the improved look. I wanted the Strombus to stand out. I have spent the last two days arranging my shells on the eight remaining sections. I have not liked anything I tried. Except for the zebra nerites. I like the drama of the black and white stripes. I divided the shells into two piles – shells predominantly white and shells that are blacker.
I will scatter a thin layer of shell dust beneath the nerites. I don’t want the same issue as with the white littorina. I’ve also used a pencil to mark a ‘V’ in the black and white shells. I think it will add a touch of drama by mixing in solid white shells.
I have a lot of coquina shells. For flowers, the shell is easy to use and great for beginners. After cleaning these, I lightly coated them with baby oil to enhance the pink and lavender colors. When I set the tellin flowers next to them, I was impressed by the look. Before, the tellins looked washed out. By using the coquinas and zebra nerites the tellins flowers will really pop. I hope!
I will also be expanding/improving the sunburst. Around the edges I laid a few Philippine rice shells. They are the same shade as the Hawaiian rice shell, just daintier and very pointy. I think it will add just the right touch. I haven’t decided what, if anything, I’ll be doing around the spirula/umbonium circle. Too much white on white and the shells get lost, I think. But I want everything done first. I’d hate to do over-kill at this point.