Sailor’s Valentine, StarShine, Part 1

The new valentine box arrived yesterday. I am so impressed with the workmanship of the box. Every joint is smooth and letter-perfect. The craftsman who built these boxes is a true artist. I found him on eBay. I won both this box and the earlier one in an auction, however, they will do special orders. A quality valentine box is well worth the price. You wouldn’t want to spend all those hours constructing shell art then use a box that is cheaply built.

This wood is berlinwood which is like zebra wood. It has a golden tone and gorgeous wood grain. The craftsman added corner dots in the same color as the class trim. All in all, it is a stunning box.

Again, the sides and glass trim are numbered for replacement. The pieces fit together like gloves. I was very excited to finally be able to start StarShine. As anxious as I was to begin, though, I still procrastinated actually starting! Lines and angles have a precise logic that my brain has issues comprehending. I know I drew the initial pattern, but that took several efforts before I got it right. Paper can be trashed if it’s wrong. The box can’t be tossed. But I persevered and I finally managed to draw the star pattern.  The center is marked but I’m not working from the center. This time, I’m working from the outside in.

All those lines look a little confusing, don’t they? You should see how many I had to erase! I have no depth perception, either, so I have to take extra time to make sure the pattern is exact. Once I start gluing, I won’t be able to make changes. I used the camcorder cassette box you see to make a mark on all the sides. I won’t do the actual border until the star is completed but I wanted to make sure I left the right amount of space.

With the circle, the pattern almost looks like the sun, not a star. Maybe I’ll change the name to SunShine. I really think this wood will show the purple and white shell design of beautifully. The brown accents I have chosen match the tones of the wood.

Tomorrow I will begin working on the star. There are several shells that I’ll be using. I plan on alternating the point pattern all the way around. The area between the points also has a design that will run alternately.

Both of these will be time-consuming and will need precision. The brown Hawaiian rice shells that are scattered here will form the star’s outline. I think I’ll be hearing some swear words in the coming days. These shells are very glossy, very slick. The white marginella shells also have that slick, glossy texture but once the rice shells are on, I can use them to help control the movement of the marginella.

The center of this valentine will have a crushed shell base beneath the squilla flower center. I have some tiny polished goldstone lying around that are pebble sized. It’s glittery when you wet it. I thought the reddish-brown stones would add some depth to the center. To keep the sparkle, I lightly sprayed the stones with polyurethane. In the picture, the bottom two have been treated. I wasn’t sure how many pieces I would need so I sprayed maybe twenty pebbles.

So I’ll take more pictures tomorrow.

About leggygillin

I make Sailor's Valentines, Seashell flower arrangements and other shell art. Blogging about them helps me improve the quality of my work. By looking at my progress through images, I'm able to view the pieces differently. I think also it helps others who may be wanting to learn. Not that I am a teacher, by any means. I'm still learning, growing, and developing my art with each post.
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