Remembering Venezuela

Remembering Venezuela

Remember Venezuela

In March of 1998, I went on a shell collecting trip in Venezuela. This was my first trip to South America. In the Caracas airport, everyone had cell phone to their ear which astonished me, because that wasn’t the norm in the U.S. at that time.

I learned later that people had cell phones because the land line service was so unreliable, as was the electrical system in general. The power would suddenly go out at our motel so we couldn’t cook or have a hot shower.

In the van from the airport, hearing the theme song from “Titanic” on the radio brought tears to my eyes because my children had played that music at their father’s funeral two weeks earlier.

On the beaches were thousands of turkey-wing shells making it difficult to walk. The water was dirty. In remote fishing villages, we saw families with many children, living in tiny cement block houses with thatched roofs.

I tend to pick up anything interesting on the beach and sort it out later. I came home with a huge number of shells and other refuse, which included driftwood, feathers, thick cord, colored 2-ply twisted cord, beads, a domino, rusty metal, part of a net, buttons, fish bones, and tangled mono filament.

I used some of these items in an encaustic piece, and also in the pouch pictured above. The pouch began with coiling a thin cord over a thick piece of cord which ended sooner than I expected. I continued with other colors of cord doing knot-less netting. The rim is a row of crochet with the last bit of 2-ply cord.

Using found objects from the beach provides small amounts of materials in colors and structures I would not normally choose from my stash. The result is truly one of a kind.

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