Last year I went to the Festival of Crafts at Farnham Maltings and was fascinated by some silver sea shell shaped jewellery. The maker was very willing to tell me that she used a product called Siligum to make moulds of shells with which to cast her silver shells. Further research on the internet led me to put this product on my wishlist for my birthday, and I was delighted to receive this just over a week ago.
I had lots of fun last weekend making moulds of lots of the shells I have been collecting over the years. Some particular 'shells' that I wanted to make moulds from were found on the beach of Oakura near Taranaki on the North Island of New Zealand, they are called Spirula, and are in fact the internal flotation chamber of a small sea squid, Spirula spirula, commonly known as the ram's horn squid.
These shells are extremely fragile, so I was very pleased to be able to use my new Siligum to make moulds which I can now use to re-create these beautiful spirals in clay.
Searching through my craft supplies, I found that I still had some Silver clay which I was able to make workable with the addition of some more water, so I soon had a pair of silver 'spirula' ear-rings...
I also have made a matching necklace using a larger shell as a mould, but have not taken a photo of this yet.
Now that I have these shells preserved in moulds it was time to use the original shells in a way which I could enjoy their beauty and stop them from getting damaged, so I have mounted them in a deep frame found in a charity shop.