the beauty of shells…


19/10/2010 by Sarah Ritchie


Paua shell palette

Paua shell palette


On any given summer’s day it is guaranteed that copious quantities of seashells will find their way into suburban homes via pockets, bags and buckets.

Countless minutes will be spent fossicking along beaches in search of the perfect shell…the pretty shell…the quirky shell.

It is difficult to imagine that what was once the home of a sea creature would be such an object of beauty and fascination for humans!

My favourite shell, by far, is the paua (New Zealand abalone, pictured). Apparently there is no other shell in the world that has the colour of paua shell. What a fortunate mollusk it is to live in such a palace! Look at the perfect colour palette of this iridescent shell – the colour combination of the shell’s interior is exquisite.

When I was a child, my mother would take me hunting for a special type of shell on Takapuna Beach (Auckland, New Zealand). The shells were fragile, small and flat-ish discs of pearly gold and silver – just the type of rare treasure every child covets. Fortunately I kept a small collection of them over the years (pictured below) as – last time I looked – there were none to be found. I would love to know what kind of shell they are.

Shells from TakapunaShells are one of the smaller natural beauties and we can easily overlook their amazing, intricate designs. If you are looking for inspiration for colour combinations, shapes and patterns, take a trip to your local seashore! If you spend some time admiring God’s miniature marine architecture, you’re sure to be impressed. The experience will enrich your soul – if not through the wonder and beauty of the shells, then from the feeling of the sand between your toes and the smell of the fresh sea air!


2 thoughts on “the beauty of shells…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I too am from the North Shore in Glenfield and as a child would always go to Takapuna Beach for summer, and during school trips we would go around by the boat ramp to explore the sea life on the rocks. I too also remember those pearly scallop like shells and also use to pick them up. nfortunately I can not remember what they are called, but would also like to know what they are.
    Thanks for the walk down memory lane 🙂

  2. Sarah says:

    You are very welcome. i am glad that someone else remembers those shells! If it were not for actually HAVING some of those shells still I would have thought I had imagined it! Here’s to living in a stunningly beautiful part of the world!

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Sarah Ritchie
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Finalist, Estuary Art Awards 2011
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© Sarah Ritchie 2014

Please do not use copies of my original artwork for profit, however you are welcome to share my artwork images as much as you like!

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