Gertenbach’s talisman: seashell

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

My friend gave me some magazines, and Victoria Gertenbach‘s Objects of Comfort on the cover of Quilting Arts Issue 91 jumped out at me, so I followed her guidelines and made this seashell talisman.

I would have made more – wow, did I love this process! – but I had to borrow a box of shells and only this one was large enough for me to play with. Darn you covid, and your ability to thwart my experiments by preventing me from shopping or visiting beaches! Maybe you’ll see some rock or stick talismans in the future (:

Anyway, I wanted to craft the feeling of the sea, so I used a sandy color fabric folded over itself for the uneven sea bottom, and a lightly sparkly fabric in blue for the water (I believe these were cuts from a Robert Kaufman collection). I had some specialty fluffy trim meant for scrapbooking that reminded me of seaweed – the color was perfect! I added some gold and dark beads as rocks along the sea floor. Around the rim of the “water” I added a lot of clear and white beads alongside real seashell sequins to represent the crashing waves.

As a talisman, I needed to add something dangly. I really like dangly bits of whatever; there’s just something magical in a cluster of charms. I had an old wineglass charm which is the starfish and pearl. The wood beads are to represent driftwood, with sparkly beads for pearls, sea treasures, and sea glass. And I made the tiniest tassel to add more texture.

You can almost hear the sea and feel the sand beneath your toes when you hold this seashell talisman, I swear!

Though the artist calls hers “talismans”, I wondered if “charm” or “amulet” or “totem” might be better for me. Is there a word that encompasses them all? As an anthropologist, I feel that there are specific meanings to these words, depending on the culture from which it originated.

Alas, today’s internet is filled with newage crystal worshippers who make up whatever they want, so I can’t rightly sort it all out and it isn’t my area of research. This shell thing isn’t meant to be magical or spiritual or powerful in anyway – at least, not more so than to invoke the sense of the sea! (Sidenote, even “thing” had a specific meaning, once upon a time…)

I think I prefer “charm”. When you say something “has charm”, you mean that it evokes a particular emotional feel. Which is what I think my little seashell talisman does!

 

See more posts related to:

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for more cases of the Crafties?
Sydney Pouch: Porch

Sydney Pouch: Porch

I made another Sydney Pouch, this time reminding me of sitting in my gramma and grampa’s screened in porch up on the hill.

read more
Sydney Pouch: Garden

Sydney Pouch: Garden

I made another Sydney Pouch by Roxy Creations, this time a yellow garden theme with a different method of construction.

read more
Stitch Club: Collier

Stitch Club: Collier

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Jennifer Collier inspired me to stitch a paper glove.

read more
Stitch Club: Ferguson

Stitch Club: Ferguson

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Ali Ferguson inspired me to create a (slightly junk-journal inspired) hand-bound sketchbook using a mix of pages and embellishments.

read more
Needlemaking

Needlemaking

I link to a short video about how needles and pins are made with modern technology.

read more
Stitch Club: Colella

Stitch Club: Colella

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Jodi Colella inspired me to create a set of fabric charms.

read more
Stitch Club: Kaner

Stitch Club: Kaner

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Sabine Kaner inspired me to create an abstract design based on crumpled paper.

read more
Stitch Club: Stapley

Stitch Club: Stapley

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Vinny Stapley inspired me to create a panel with a dune grass motif using a lacey neutral color palette.

read more
Hoop-D-Do Challenge

Hoop-D-Do Challenge

My embroidery guild always has an annual challenge of some type and this year was our “Hoop-D-Do” project, whereby we were to create a work using specific stitches to be displayed in the hoop itself. My display of flowers in a “wood” bowl speaks the 70s to me. And, as usual, I didn’t stick to the rules well and added my own flare – ha!

read more
Stitch Club: Henderson

Stitch Club: Henderson

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Ailish Henderson inspired me to create a mixed media portrait of my sweet javanese cat.

read more
Felt Ornament: J

Felt Ornament: J

I made a felt ornament in the shape of the letter J for a friend. I was inspired by a letter R given to me, which hails from Mexico.

read more
Locket Pincushion

Locket Pincushion

I was recently given this beautifully elegant carved vintage locket, and I turned it into my travel pin cushion.

read more
Stitch Club: Kelly

Stitch Club: Kelly

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Anne Kelly inspired me to create a little booklet of mixed media.

read more
Tiny Bee Mural

Tiny Bee Mural

I made a tiny felt mural with an embroidered bee and flowers for my gardening friend.

read more
a Cassette Tape

a Cassette Tape

Inspired by an image online, I made a felt cassette tape displayed on a small canvas for my nephew’s birthday.

read more
Stitch Club: Holmes

Stitch Club: Holmes

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Cas Holmes inspired me to create a momigami (Japanese method of kneading paper) mixed media landscape.

read more
Stitch Club: Weighton

Stitch Club: Weighton

As part of TextileArtist.org Stitch Club, Haf Weighton inspired me to create a series of medallions representing the theme of “get well”. I used bark-on-wood coasters and fabric collage to highlight the chosen words of each medallion. This piece loosely represents Van Gennep’s rites of passage upon the theme of getting well.

read more