This one was embroidered in light gray, light blue and white, and when I pulled it out of the drawer I felt the need to add a fourth thread, more decisive and strong: a beautiful yellow green, almost golden, which I love very much, for the skeleton of the curl and a purple red for the water drops.
To be precise, the design depicts a dermaskeleton of Echinodiscus tenuissimus, a flat sea urchin, also called a sand dollar because of its glassy shape and texture. They are commonly found on beaches in both temperate and tropical areas.
The case is a small hexagonal cardboard box, which I covered inside and out with salvaged marine and textile themed items. I love salvaging old items and I love the assemblage art and collage book technique, in this case I assembled a collage box. On the lid there are shells, twigs brought back from the sea, a tuft of sheep’s wool, a military star, two old coins, one from Zimbabwe in 1980 and one from Algeria in 1970.
There is also a piece of a metal filter, a label that was attached to an old travel trunk and an old automatic with its cardboard, and a small egagropilus (they are aggregations of fibrous residues of marine plants, which are also found on our shores). The remaining surface is encrusted with whole sea salt.
On the sides and underneath are scraps of photographs taken years ago with my Voigtlander Vito B, a silicon strap from a diving mask, a pH meter card, scraps of illustrations and colored and silvered papers, a drawing of mine, and a piece of fabric colored with artichoke leaves and petals.
Inside the lid I glued some neutral tissue paper and another twig brought from the sea, I do not know what kind of wood it is, but it flakes giving body to a kind of natural brush, with the consistency of paper. I dripped some blue and green color made with Windsor and Newton’s honey watercolor on it from above (I have a mini box of them dating back to shortly after my IED days).
On the bottom of the box I created a carpet of Santa Lucia’s eyes; these are the lids of a certain type of shell, considered by popular belief to be powerful amulets against the evil eye, and able to heal eye diseases.
I added other pieces of shells and on one edge a stamp of the U.S. air mail of 1961, which sings the praises of freedom.
Between the folds of the embroidery, I tucked the real-life version of the dermaskeleton I mentioned above.