Ialways love seeing amazing crafts and handmade works of art — especially if they are constructed with interesting materials.
There’s no end to what you can do with resources found in nature. Upcycling is always a clever idea. By repurposing things that you might not look at twice, you’ll end up with the most beautiful, functional additions to your home.
Of course, many of the things you end up upcycling don’t have to live in your house at all. Some of the most creative inventions, in fact, have even remained hidden and unknown to the public for decades.
Ann Carrington, an artist based in an English seaside town, has created absolutely breathtaking, statuesque life-sized “women,” using a most peculiar material. Aside from being fantastic to look at, these works of art drew inspiration from many sources, including historical figures and a unique seaside location.
Read on to find out more about these fantastically elegant creations — maybe you’ll even want to make one of your own.
Please SHARE if you thought these works of art were absolutely amazing!
Years ago, Ann Carrington spotted a beautiful ornament from a now-obsolete souvenir shop on the seafront of Margate, a seaside town in East Kent, England.
It was an intricate little doll of a Victorian lady — made of shells and clad in petticoats, a tight bodice, and a bonnet.
As an artist, Carrington was naturally curious to see if she could replicate the doll, and make it in a style that was her own.
So, when she was commissioned to create something for the Margate seafront, she decided to craft 12 life-sized ladies from shells. She would collect them from local fishermen during scallop season. These ladies would be seven feet tall, and be entirely made from shells.
For each dress design, she started by welding a metal skirt structure, before adding multiple layers of scallop shells, to give the picture of a “billowing skirt.”
She used a Voluta shell for the bodice (to give the lady nice curves), and placed a melon shell on top as the head. This was a good idea, especially since the surface of the fruit was smooth and peach-colored.
Old shell necklaces were reconstructed to form hair decorations and other accessories.
Carrington’s favorite part was painting on the faces for the ladies.
She gave each of the shell ladies her own “personality” — each of them was named in honor of a famous seaside lady. There was Phyllis Broughton, the famous “Gaiety Girl,” who performed at countless theaters during her days as a renowned actress.
Pictured above is Baroness Emma Orczy, the Hungarian-born British playwright, novelist, and artist best known for writing The Scarlet Pimpernel, a play set during the French Revolution.
This is Marie Corelli, a writer of the late 19th century whose novels sold more copies than many of her popular contemporaries combined, including Rudyard Kipling and Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes series.
Carrington thought that these shell ladies perfectly captured the essence of Margate: they are of that particular breed of fine, sophisticated gentry that once populated the seaside town. And, since they were crafted from shells, they reminded her of the town’s mysterious Shell Grotto, a breathtaking underground tunnel crafted out of shells.
The resident owner of Margate’s Shell Grotto, Ann Hill.
Here they are, strolling along the seaside promenade.
Carrington still sees miniature seashell ladies in souvenir stores on the seafront when she takes the walk from her art studio to the shore. Except now they’re all imported from Korea or China, and not carefully handmade.
The shell ladies are put on display at various locations in Margate during the summer, where they grace the shore’s golden, sweeping sands.
And here they are…at The Flamingo amusement arcade in Margate.
What did you think of these shell ladies? Let us know in the comments below, and please SHARE!