Littered along the shorelines of the Pacific NorthWest, oyster shells, open, broken, and discarded provide a snapshot of life on the wild west coast. Each shell is unique in size and colour, depicting the life they once hosted inside, with some worn smooth from the ocean’s movement. Finding and collecting beautiful shells has been a favorite pastime for my family and me throughout the years, shedding insight into the intricacies of the tidal life cycles. The mollusks themselves, found in pockets along Vancouver Island, provide a pivotal function to the overall health and productivity of the shoreline ecosystem, as well as the health of communities along the coast.
Our shell is carved from the outer segment of the maple tree, one of the few commercially available hardwoods on the west coast. As cast-offs from the milling process, these outer pieces of the tree have found a new life, reincarnated as representations of the shell. Intricately patterned with distinct compositions of grain and figure, these delicate pieces show the history of the tree that they came from, each unique in shape, size and story.