Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bead Spotlight: Cowry Shells

cowrie spiral

With all the hundreds of different types of seashells in the world, it’s interesting that only a few of them really stand out in our imaginations. It’s possible that these favorite seashells have become icons of the ocean because they are so beautiful, or because they are often found in very beautiful places. Some of these celebrity shells include the scallop, and the conch. And then there is the cowry shell.

Although they can be found in an array of sizes shapes and colors, it is the unique shape that makes the cowry so special. With it’s rounded back and flat, lipped bottom, it looks almost like a folded pastry or a mermaid’s coin purse. Many cultures throughout history believed that the cowry shell was a symbol of womanhood, and used cowry shells as charms to promote fertility.

One of the most traditional ways to use cowries in jewelry is to include them in hemp macramé jewelry with other natural beads and shells. Necklaces and bracelets made in this style have a carefree quality that makes them ideal for summer wear. They seem to say “vacation time”.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading


6 comments:

  1. Hmmmmm ... Sea shells. This wouldn't have anything to do with an EBW challenge piece, would it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. A-ha! Actually, it doesn't but I suppose it's very timely, isn't it? I'm looking forward to seeing the finished mosaic - it's going to be a gorgeous collection!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am thrilled to be featured along side such talent!

    Thanks Mortira!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you so much for featuring my Brooklyn Chick earrings! I love cowrie shells!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow! Thanks so much for featuring my work here! Coincidence or not - that piece sold today!! That was one of my very first listings on Etsy, and I'm happy someone finally just had to have it. :P
    Thanks again, lovely blog!

    Monica

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congratulations Monica! That's the best part about doing features - helping items find the right owner!

    ReplyDelete

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Inspiration Topics

accessories amulet animals April's Army art ArtFire astrology astronomy autumn awards awareness bangle beach Bead Inspired Bead Shops bead spotlight bead stash Bead Trays beaded beads beading theory beads belt bezel birthstones black blog spotlight blue boho bone book spotlight bracelet Bracelet A Week branch fringe brick stitch brown bugles buttons cabochon ceramic chain maille challenge charity chevron chain christmas collar Collections color color triads conservation craft shows crafts crochet crystals cuff current events Current Faves daggers Daily Sets daisy chain Delicas Destash drops Dutch spiral earrings Egypt Egyptian Gods embellishing embroidery environment etsy exotic fair trade fantasy fashion Favorite Beads Favorite Techniques feminine fibers film findings fire polish fixtures flickr inspiration flowers food found object free form fringe geekery gemstones geography giveaway glass gold gray Greece green herringbone hex cuts history holiday home decor insects inspiration tip inspired beader Inspired by... Inspiring Links ivory Kid Medallions knitting ladder stitch lampwork lariat leaf fringe lights literature loomwork macrame magatamas metal free metalwork mixed media mixture Mood Board MOP multi-color multi-strand music natural beads nature necklace Necklace a Day Nepal chain netting New Beads ocean ombre orange paint paper patterns pearls pendant peyote photography pink Pinspiration PMC polymer clay poster sketch purple quick inspiration rainbow RAW red resin ring Ring a Day rivoli Russian spiral scarf science seed beads shell silver soutache spiral rope spring square stitch St. Petersburg steampunk stringing stripes summer tagua TBT The Elements thread Tilas Time Capsule tools trade beads triangle weave tribal tropical turquoise tutorial Ugly vintage Wear it Twice weather white winter WIP wire wishlist wood World Beaders yellow
Blog Home * About * Beading Tutorials * Want a Feature? * Index * Advertise

Learn About Sponsoring Inspirational Beading with Project Wonderful
Affiliated With ShareASale.com and Amazon.com