Summer fun seashell workshop

This workshop for adults took place yesterday on Friday, July 25 , 2014 in the Brooklyn Public Library – Kings Bay Branch 3650, Nostrand Avenue, 2:30 PM to 4:00PM.

People demonstrated the great interest and signed for the workshop one week before the date.

            This workshop provides many benefits:

  • Healing touch for any age

  • Learning how to to make seashell mosaic with own hands.

  • Stimulating brain functions with manual movements.

  • Fun with creating and educational time.

  • Seashells are natural, very fragile materials which bring positive emotions and develop social skills during group work.

 

The goal of this workshop is combining a learning process with brain busting entertainment. People open for themselves the world of shelled animals such as mollusks as well as providing a challenging and stimulating art lesson.

Participants were exited to know about different kind of mollusks which are living in the NY beaches and could touch many different shells.

During the 1.5 hours I  had a chance to introduce some of the most unique and oldest animals  on the Earth – mollusks.  People were very curious about some scientific facts including:

The world of shell animals or mollusks makes up one of the largest and oldest groups in the animal kingdom. In the New York area we can meet many different types of shells, which scientists have grouped into two main classes:

The Bivalves (two shells or two valves hinged together):

  •           Jingle shells
  •           Atlantic bay scallop
  •           Blue Mussel shells
  •           Quahogs
  •           Common Atlantic Oyster
  •           Atlantic surf clam
  •           Razor clam
  •           Coquina shell

The Univalves (Single shell)

  •  Common Atlantic slipper
  • Spotted slipper
  • Whelk
  • Moon shells
  • Snails

Also we can meet another sea life: crabs, skate egg case, Atlantic shoe crab, Lightning and common whelk shell egg cases.

I tell about my personal experience to collect many seashells on the different beaches in NY area.

During my workshop each of the participants made their own shell Butterfly mosaic and took it at home as a gift. This project may encourage people to go out and collect seashells and create artworks on their own.

 

                                               Workshop step by step:

Each from 17 participants received their own materials to complete the project.

Individual prepared packages included:

  1. 8” x 10” wood frame with butterfly pattern,
  2. 22 Coquina white shells (halves),
  3. 16 blue mussel shells (halves),
  4. Razor clam shell (halve),
  5. scallop seashells and their fragments, multi purpose Elmer’s Glue and paper towels.

 

Before the project began I named for people the shells they would be using. Also I explained for audience that making mosaic is a very time consuming process. For this reason I  made some preparation to project at home.

Step1

Open the package and put all shells, wood frame and glue with napkins on your work place.

Step 2

Put small amounts of glue on the inner edge of the Razor clam shell. Glue seashell to the place of the Butterfly’s body on the pattern. Do not touch and leave it for the necessary time to dry.

Step 3

Spread a little amount glue on the back side edge of the shell for the Butterfly’s head and press it on the space on the frame.

Step 4

Choose Coquina shells and make your own ornaments on the Butterfly wings.  All the Mussel shells were previously glued by me for the time limitation reason.

Step 5

Find any positions for scallop shells that you prefer on the cardboard without glue. After that glue seashells to the previously chosen place.

Leave your work without movement for the necessary drying period.

After this workshop I had a time to present my own book with step by step instruction to make 18 seashell mosaics and tell the audience about seashell shows. Also I had the chance to answer  many questions and give a sneak peek of my personal mosaic making process.

The workshops were a great success. People who didn’t have the chance to participate in workshops because of limited spaces were able to enjoy their time by watching the workshop and listen my stories about the nautical world and shells. After the workshops were finished I received another invitation for new workshops on the next month. It will be seashell jewelry. I feel happy and satisfied. Special thanks for the invitation and great support in amazing organizational process to the Library manager, Mrs. Sharon.

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