Cowrie shells have captivated humans since the beginning of time and have appeared in societies world wide in the forms of currency, adornment, amulets, talismans, spiritual keepsakes or religious accessories. It continues to be used today and is especially iconic of Africa; probably the worlds most famous shell, a renowned component used in fashion and adornment.
The cowrie shell has been a component I have used in my designs from the beginning, long before I learnt how I could translate its form realistically into precious metal. I was naturally drawn to it whilst spending hours beach combing as a child and have always been in awe of the notorious Maasai tribe who often include it in their famous adornments. All the cowries featured in my collection have originated from real shells, I have collected over the years from various beaches along the Kenyan coast. The first step is to make a liquid rubber mould which provides me with an exact replica of the shells form in wax. This will then undergo several more stages of refinement and several design processes in order to become a classical and timeless piece which relates to people of all ages and walks of life across the globe.
“Spiritually, according to African legend, if you are attracted to cowrie shells you could be family to an ocean spirit of wealth and earth. It also represents Goddess protection which is very powerful and connected with the strength of the ocean”