So many of my collections are organic, and one of them is shells.
I dont collect shells anymore, but I do have a collection of them.
These beautiful homes are so evocative of place and need. The collection I have is an amalgam of shells I have picked up and aquired and shells my father-in-law aquired. He sailed ships through the Pcific Island during the 1950's for years and they were the de rigour of souvenirs back then.
I usually display shells in bowls, cloches, or as an accent. I love the patterns rendered on them. Cone shells, the really toxic ones have wonderful abstract patterns on them. Cowrie shells are equally beautiful and look great en masse.
My beach combing efforts these days are much more humble than the flamboyance of the tropical ones. I love the broken ones, the tumbled glass, tumbled stones, bits of coral. They all inspire.
There is a beach on the Burrup Peninsula (Pilbara), called Hearsons Cove, that doesn't have sand, but tumbled and broken shells and coral. There are sheltered picnic tables there (its a popular and hot spot), and I love seeing piles of this marine detritus that people have sorted and grouped. We cant help ourselves, as we try to make order from chaos.
The shell has so many possible metaphors, or can just be an object to enjoy.