Thursday, January 27th from 6-9pm
(from Wikipedia) A sailors’ valentine is a type of antique souvenir, or sentimental gift, originally brought home from a sailor’s voyage at sea for his loved one between 1830 and 1890. Sailor valentines are typically octagonal, glass fronted, hinged wooden boxes ranging from 8″ to 15″ in width, displaying intricate symmetrical designs composed entirely of small sea shells of various colors glued onto a backing. Patterns often feature a centerpiece such as a compass rose or a heart design, hence the name, and in some cases the small shells are used to spell out a sentimental message.
Although the name seems to suggest that the sailors themselves made these objects, a large number of of them originated in the island of Barbados, which was an important seaport during this period. Historians believe that the women there made the valentines using local shells, or in some cases with shells imported from Indonesia, and then the finished products were sold to the sailors.
Today, antique sailors’ valentines are collectibles, valued for their beauty and unusual qualities. Collector interest has sparked a resurgence in sailors’ valentines as an art form, and shell kits and patterns are now sold at craft shops.
At our workshop, basic materials and adhesives will be provided…you should bring any special treasures, photos, clip art or ephemera of your own to personalize your piece. Valentines could be made inside shells, boxes, books, plates etc. You are only as limited as your imagination!
Please call the studio in advance to reserve your space.
Bring a friend!