Conch shells can be used in many ways, from building materials to jewelry. The shell can be used as a musical instrument or as a symbol of order or authority (think Lord of the Flies). The conch itself, the snail inside the shell, is eaten in many parts of the world. Our shell is interesting to examine and ponder.
A conch shell is a study in contrast. Outside, the shell is rough and spiny, its spire winding higher and tighter, spiky projections growing longer with each twist. The outer surface is dull and beige-colored, camouflage for a sandy beach. It feels sandy, too - grainy and slightly rough, like finest-grit sandpaper. If broken, a conch shell's fragments are sharp as knives. The outside is tough, built to defend the soft animal living inside - built by the animal itself, amazingly. But the long, curved edge is delicate and fluted, fan-shaped and almost translucent, hinting at what you'll find when you turn the shell over.
Inside, it's a different story altogether. The inner shell is shiny, vitreous, tinkly if you tap it with your fingernail. Gradually, from the outside edge inward, its color shifts from creamy white to pale peach to deep coral-pink, darkening toward the crevice where a sea snail once burrowed to keep safe, its siphon reaching out now and then for nourishment. As I've reminded my children, the shell is more than just a pretty thing; the vulnerable snail lived quietly here, taking in seawater and making iridescent pinkish pearls, sheltered in its snug, rosy home.
Don't forget to visit the other Color Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts. Just click on the links below:
Annie at Annie Cholewa
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Gillian at Tales from a happy house.
CJ at Above the River
Sarah at mitenska
What is The Color Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a color related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about color in new ways.