This week I had the pleasure of being asked to join up with seven other instructors under a tent at Indian Town Gallery on Hatteras Island for their first ARTigras event. Painters, jewelers, a potter and glass blowers offered classes throughout the day, from a thunderstorm morning with drenching rain, through a hot, humid afternoon.
|setting up the worktable|
|Knobbed and Channeled Whelks|
The most popular objects were the whelk egg cases. Many people had seen them on the beach, some had not, and not one person knew what they were. Whelks are a type of sea snail with over 50 species that can be found all around the world. In our area, we are likely to encounter the Knobbed Whelk, Channeled Whelk and the Lightning Whelk. These animals grow by building their shells around a central axis, producing whorls as they grow.
|Lightning Whelk on left|
The Knobbed Whelks have small bumps or "knobs" along the whorls and the Channeled Whelks have flattened whorls. Lightning Whelks are unusual in that the opening is on the left side instead of the more common right-sided opening. Whelks are carnivorous creatures, feasting on mollusks, crustaceans and worms. And of course, these are the shells that you can hold to your ear and hear the ocean, the sound being produced by the vibrations from the air that occur inside the spiral shell.
|Knobbed and Channeled egg cases|
"In the heaven of Indra, there is said to be a network of pearls, arranged that if you look at one you will see all the others reflected in it. In the same way each object in the world is not merely itself but involves every other object and in fact is everything else." C. Eliot