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Caitlin’s hand-decorated sea shells, sea glass mosaics, baubles, trinket dishes & coasters are available at:
Dickens House Museum, Victoria Parade, Broadstairs CT10 1QS
Droit House, Thanet Visitor Information Centre, The Pier, Margate, CT9 1JD
Coastal Creatives, 28 High Street, Broadstairs, CT10 1LH
Westgate Galleria, Westgate-on-Sea, CT8 8RB
I studied art in the early 1980s, completing a Foundation in Fine Art in London, but then became a teacher and journalist. During Covid lockdown of 2020, I began to badly decorate my household furniture, and re discovered the joy of glue and paint.
I started to look for ways to use the stone glass I’d found on Stone Bay in Kent, producing small mosaics. When I began volunteering at Dickens House Museum in Broadstairs in 2022, I branched out into decoupaging shells, spurred on by the enthusiasm of other volunteers.
Decoupaging is fun and absorbing, and a great way to wind down. It’s also much quicker than writing a book….so I launched 7 Bays.
I use a variety of common sea shells, individually decorated with hand-painted tissue paper images inspired by Broadstairs’ beautiful seven bays, and coated with non-toxic varnish.
The shells are all locally sourced – I get the oyster shells restaurants throw away – while the scallop shells come from nearby Whitstable.
They’re ideal for holding keys, jewellery, dog treats and trinkets.
Kebbells seafood restaurant in Broadstairs uses the shells to serve customer bills.
No two shells are ever the same, every design is unique, and any ‘imperfections’ are part of their natural beauty.
The shells at Dickens House Museum feature Dickensian characters and seaside donkeys.
Ceramic baubles, both large and small, and trinket dishes, are similarly decorated with hand-painted tissue paper images.
The mosaics are made with sea glass gathered from Stone Bay, usually fragments of century old bottles worn smooth by the waves, finished with non-toxic varnish.
Prices range from £3.00 to £15.