Shell Box is constructed from small New Zealand cockle shells (a type of clam) from when I still ate animal foods, so indeed they are the scrubbed clean remnants of a lovely meal. In addition, the box contains confetti packing material made from shredded paper, white glue and beeswax set into a cardboard, beeswax covered construction.
It is one of my favorites from this series of ephemeral beeswax boxes.
Blue pigment taken from a cockle shell, then fermented for 10 days at 50 degrees centigrade is reduced to a green sludge soluble in water. A cloth dipped in the green solution, when dried in sunlight, turns blue.
"Speak to the Children of Israel and bid them that they make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of each corner a thread of blue (tekhelet). And it shall be for you as a fringe, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of G-d and do them..." (Numbers 15:38-39)
During Biblical times, deep blue and purple dyed garments were created from shell creatures, and being extremely precious, were reserved for royalty. The Torah enjoins the Jewish people to wear a thread of tekhelet, because tekhelet is the color of sapphire, and the Tablets of the Law were made of sapphire.
This piece evokes these ancient memories and crystallizes this ancient source of wisdom and shakti for today's world.
You can see the shot on this page of a group of these mixed media wax shadow boxes and icons. They look good either one at a time or in a group like this.
Contact me if you're interested in purchasing a selection of these pieces. I'm happy to discuss it and make an arrangement suitable to your needs.
Read more about my work in my artist statement, Creating Spiritual Art for the New Millenium and resume.