In past trips to the beach, when I spent time looking for shells, I was looking for whole shells with interesting shapes. I didn’t want broken pieces, and I wasn’t interested in common shapes. The more spikes and spirals, the better. When I spent time looking for shells with my daughters last week, however, we had a completely different approach.
We happened to be in a gallery that was hosting a workshop on making sea glass pendants. Both of my daughters decided that was something worth spending their souvenir money on. So, the next time we were on the beach, we took a walk looking for sea glass, and while we didn’t find any, they had the realization that similar pendants could be made out of other materials, such as seashells.
But whole shells aren’t appropriate for that type of pendant. They’re too bulky, too round, or too rough. I found myself gravitating towards pieces of shell that had been broken, worn, and smoothed into thin, flat, rectangular shapes with pretty colors and interesting patterns. They were hardly recognizable as being shells. Which just goes to show that anything may have value given the right context.