Thursday, 2 January 2014

Goodies from New Zealand

New Zealand beaches, especially on the west coast, are magical places, often stormy and moody and covered in jewels from the sea. My father in law lives just a couple of miles from one such beach, it is covered in literally thousands of shells and piles of drift wood of all sizes washed up by the stormy rolling sea. While it is not the most comfortable beach to walk bare-foot along it is a beach-comber's treasure trove.

Here are a few of the pieces I collected, most of the drift wood pieces are the thickness of a biro. I am thinking of incorporating all of the pieces below into felt but these are still very much half-baked ideas.

On our way back from a weekend in Napier we stopped at a Paua (pronounced pow-a) shop. Paua is the kiwi name for abalone, I'm told a delicious shell fish but it is the iridescent quality of the inside of the shell that I am interested in. The shell is commonly used in jewellery and decorative items, I think it has potential for inclusion in felt.

This is another find from the beach, at first I thought it was a shell (it has the texture and weight of shell) but it is smooth on one side and rough on the other as if the rough side was attached to a muscle while the smooth side is more hydrodynamic, I wonder if it sealed an opening on a large mollusc of some sort? Do you recognise it / have any idea what it is? It is approx. 4 cm across and the smooth side is slightly concave. Whatever it is I love the heart shape and radiating ridges on the rough side. I see it becoming a pendant or adornment on a bag.


  1. Looking forward to seeing these in felt. The Paua is gorgeous.

  2. I agree the colours in the paua shells are beautiful. My old PhD supervisor said men and women differ in one fundamental way; women have a "shiny things" centre in our brains that makes it impossible for us to walk past a jewellery store or ignore anything shimmery. He was a very observant man ;)