Material Monday: Sea Shells

Material Monday: Sea Shells

Posted Today by Nirvana CPH

Sea shell is an external skeleton of marine molluscs such as snails, clams, oysters and serves as hard and protective barrier from the environment to these soft and fragile animals.

In human history, they have been collected for their visual and tactile aesthetic to be subsequently used in jewellery, ceramics or fashion pieces. Its use can be attributed to first examples of art and culture created by an ancient man.

Once sold at a higher price point then Vermeer paintings, at present, many of us see shells as memorable items brought back from holiday either in natural form or processed into a jewellery design. However, there is so much more inspiration and hidden beauty they have to offer.

With modern processing available at hand, Rowan Mersh (Fumi Gallery) has combined his textile background, sculptural acumen and interest in natural materials to unlock shell’s charm in a format that has never been seen before.

Bringing together shells from Indonesia, Australia and Northwest coast of South America he ensures they are all sustainably farmed. What is more, during the processing stage, which involves cutting and sanding, he is mindful of each shell being treated with a lot of respect. That directly translates into his aim for waste free process.

Having developed a unique bond with the material he sculpts with, Rowan understands subtle curvatures, marks and in consequence is able to expose beautiful patterns hidden in this marine wonder.

This emotive approach to the material can be adapted in interiors, high-end retail spaces, decor of premium restaurants, bespoke and limited edition packaging and signature element of fashion accessories as bags.

The artist has made custom pieces for Fendi and DKNY events that however does not take away from the fact there is so much more potential within his approach to shells.

How could this unexpected use of the material inspire, enhance or translate into the story of your brand?