From micro paintings on tea bags to little masterpieces on butterfly wings, many contemporary artists are rejecting the traditional canvas in favor of smaller, unexpected items. One artist to do so is California-based crafter Mary Kenyon who uses real seashells to create decorative jewelry dishes that look like pieces of ancient treasure found on a sunken shipwreck.
The self confessed “crafts addict” found her love of all-things artsy from her father, who was a talented oil painter and leather carver. “After he passed, he left me with all his oil paints, acrylic paints, canvases, leather and hundreds of leather tools,” says Kenyon. “Being surrounded by so much inspiration and creativity is what has led me to this path in my life.”
Kenyon’s stunning, vintage-inspired shell art designs are made by decoupaging an image onto the shell’s surface. Kenyon then hand-paints decorative details using gold gilding paint, and adheres three-dimensional embellishments such a brass and colorful Swarovski rhinestones. From Renaissance-style fairy and mermaid paintings to dragonfly and peacock motifs, each opulent trinket looks like it could have belonged to an aristocratic lady from the early 17th century.
You can buy your own shell trinket dish on Etsy.