Cassis Rufa Cameo Shell Vase with Gar Scale Flowers -Part 3

I tried multiple times to find a way to support the three pectins. Not only was I unsuccessful, I managed to break the glue bond! Very frustrating. On the upside, I did not damage the arrangement. Then a friend says to me ‘just goes to show the best laid plans’. Thanks, I really needed to hear that one! I could have just scrapped the plan but I have a stubborn streak. Where there is a problem, there is a solution!

After I completely removed the pectins, I attempted to place  them closer together. Then tried them further apart. I selected three white venus clams to slide between the pectins to act as support. They fit so perfectly that I thought I had my solution. No go.

I really liked these shells for the colors. They remind me of sunrises. The reds and yellows are just so cheery. My color scheme was based on these three shells. After searching my stock, I found those were the only ones with those particular colors. I probably have five pounds or more of pectins, scallops, and clams in different sizes. Talk about disappointment! My wood piece I did keep for the next attempt.

In an earlier post I mentioned a product for glue removal. Goof-off is wonderful! No glue adhered to the wood piece. I wasn’t sure how the chemicals would react on the wood so I was glad of that. Use this product in a well ventilated area. (On a side note, when I use this on valentines, I moisten a Q-tip and gently rub it over the excess glue.) After the glue was removed, I washed the shells for use on another project. This product will remove any polyurethane so that will have to be reapplied.

I’m attempting to try three different pectins. These shells are flatter and I am able to set them closer to the point of the cameo. Two of the shells in the picture still have the hinge attached. Using needle-nose  pliers, I carefully removed these. It’s easy to snap that part off.

I had some concerns about the color match since the new choices are so much subtler than the first. As before, I washed and dried the shells, then sprayed them with polyurethane. The colors did brighten considerably. Truthfully, the pectins match the exterior shades better than my original choice. The interior lip curls over and the interior glossy oranges are exposed. My flowers are still the perfect match in that area.


The new pectins are much flatter. With extra shell contact, I’ve been able to create a stronger glue bond.

I’ve decided that if the adhesive should weaken, I’ll glue the arrangement to a wooden plaque. That’s tantamount to giving up, I know, but after this, I’m not battling anymore.


I’m happy with the overall outcome. The piece has a warm autumn tone. I opted to leave my lovely little wood piece off the arrangement. It was lost hiding down on the bottom. I’m sure I can find a way to use it better

I always impress myself when I can complete a piece as I had envisioned it. Not that I’m trying to sound vain, just that sometimes I don’t believe I actually created something so beautiful. Well, dang! That’s conceited, too. But I’m sure you know what I mean. I’ve lived my whole life believing I have no artistic talent. Now I find that I with the right medium I can create beauty.

I guess that means I need more faith in myself. If you’re like me, then you need to develop faith in yourself. Let your imagination go. I think sometimes we lock ourselves into the ‘I can’t’ mode. Anyone that can arrange flowers can make seashell flower arrangements. For me, I look at every floral design I can find. This way I can learn about dimensions, proportions, color combos, etc.





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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