Remember my inspiration for my master bedroom redesign above, it's a Mitchell Gold ad from last summer. It included this really cool shell artwork behind the bed. I loved it, but of course couldn't figure out where it came from. Even if I could have, I wouldn't have been willing to pay what it cost, I'm sure.
It looked to me as if the shells were Spiny Oysters, or spondylus. I thought, of course I could spray paint a couple of those babies, frame them and slap them up on the wall. My first task was to find a couple spiny oysters. They are not exactly easy to find but I sourced some from ebay and the seller is actually located not too far from me so they arrived in a days time. These shells are not inexpensive as far as shells are concerned, for large spiny oysters expect to pay about $15.00 each.
The next step was to find frames, initially I chose two inexpensive frames I thought were wood, but they were some sort of non solid material that evaporated when I painted them, bad idea. I went back to Hobby Lobby with a coupon and bought two white wooden frames, lightly sanded them with steel wool, then painted them with two coats of gloss white paint. I also used white mats from Hobby Lobby, the associate there assured me that the back of the mat would also be white but it wasn't. I was too tired and lazy to go back and buy a big piece of white cardstock so I spraypainted the piece of cardboard that came with the frame gloss white too, and stuck that behind the shells.
For the shells, I painted them in three layers, and I hesitated to paint them, they were such a pretty color naturally, but I had a look I was going for, right? I started by priming them in grey primer. Then I painted them with two coats of gloss white. I let the frames, shells and backing dry overnight. Then I used a glue gun to adhere the shells to the backing.
Finally, I put the whole thing together, as you can see there is no glass in the front. I used Command paint hanging strips to put the whole thing up. It is pretty heavy so there are 4 strips on each piece of artwork. The dog approves, he is supposed to stay ONLY on the cover at the bottom of the bed, sigh.