Most of the oysters I use are sourced from local restaurants. These may come from the Gulf of Mexico and as far as Prince Edward Island, Canada (picture a dozen big beautiful single selects sitting on ice with some cocktail sauce and horseradish).
Most local oyster shells are either rescued from oysters roasts beach walks. All local oyster shells that are not used are recycled, to be used in re-seeding the local oyster beds.
The oysters are clear coated to provide a protective finish to the shells. A matte or satin coating is used on the exterior of the shell to maintain the natural finish and color, a gloss is used on the inside of the shell to maximize shine from the lighting source
....a design option
All the oysters are linked together using small copper rings that I solder closed. The copper patinas over time giving them a great weathered look.
Different types of cables can be used to suspend the light and promote the feel of the coast. Stainless steel cable and shackles, rope and chain are all options
Depending on the the piece, the frame is either constructed of steel or aluminum, then finished in your choice of colors. The finish can be customized to match your décor - hammered silver, bronze, copper are a few popular choices.
The one that started it all
I have been thrilled to call Charleston home since 1997. After graduating from college with a degree in Advertising Design and living life up on the east shore of Lake Michigan, I made the move to Charleston. I'm here with my husband (the porch builder) and my sweet 4-legged children. We are out on the boat whenever we can be!
It started when my wonderful husband built a beautiful back porch onto our home. We wanted a light fit for the space and to bring the feel of the beach closer to us. So, I went to the beach, learned to weld, use some tools and made connections with some great local restaurants and metal fabricators. I have to say I was happy with the result and have been making different versions of lights ever since.
I have also added other works that include oyster and other shells, reclaimed wood and other local beach finds.
There is no end to design possibilities when you have some power tools and imagination!
The copper rings