Shells are a beautiful reminder of your favourite beach. Childhood holidays at the seaside are the source of some of our most enduring memories and the sound of the waves can instantly make us feel calmer and happier. On this page I will talk about how these shells can be made into wearable pieces that you can keep with you everyday.
I cast shells using the ancient method of sand casting (also known as Delft clay casting). Sand casting is one of the oldest casting processes, dating back at least 2000 years. The sand casting moulding method was first recorded by Vannoccio Biringuccio in his book Pirotechnia  published around 1540. Sand casting is a beautiful way of making gorgeous, organic jewellery and it's all done in house by me! Castings are then cleaned up and made into a pendant/earrings etc. You can watch the process on my Instagram, here and here.
Shells can be cast and made into pendants & earrings (you can look at this page and my Instagram for previous projects). We can work together and discuss style, choice of chain and/or metal. I will work with you to discuss the sand casting process and any amendments we may need to make to your design. For example, making a shell thicker or filling the back to make it more appropriate for casting.
Shells can also be made into rings - whether a cast shell is soldered on a stacking ring or the texture is used to imprint a silver band.
Shells can be cast in solid silver or gold!
Which shells work best?
As you can see from my pictures, many types of shell can be used for casting. I personally love the long thing shells, imperfect shell fragments and mussels but many different types of shell can be used. Shells with large holes in do not work as well as sometimes the metal struggles to flow all the way round. When selecting your shell, I would recommend choosing a few different styles so that we can discuss which would work best for the piece you have in mind. It's important to remember that sand casting is a really organic process and it may not always pick up every single small detail. Also, castings can fail and shells can break in the process, so it's a good idea to have a few shells ready to send just in case. With this in mind, please consider that you may not receive your original shells back in one piece!
Bespoke silver shell necklaces and earrings start at around £85 depending on the size of the shell. Gold Vermeil add on starts at approximately £25. To get a better idea of price, you can contact me and we can discuss design, style, turnaround times and size of the shell. Its important to note that silver is much heavier than shells so please consider this when shell hunting!
Turnaround times will depend on the casting process and the design selected. Again, this can be discussed when you contact me. If you need something for a specific date, I'm more than happy to discuss!
A thoughtful gift
If you would like to purchase a voucher for someone to create their own shell piece, send me an email! I can create a voucher for you with details on how the recipient can collect their shells and work with me to make it into a special piece.