This grotto was created during the construction of a new house on a tiny island in the Gulf of Mexico.
On entering the house, the grotto is the focal point at the end of a large corridor. The grotto is full of light as it cascades down from a round skylight onto the iridescent shells and catches the crystal rock minerals. There are two marble benches each side for the visitors to sit and absorb their surroundings. All the main rooms of the house lead off from this central corridor.
Because of the beach side location there was a possibility to collect shells at every change of tide. Even some times at night when there was the full moon! The sea treasures varied so much depending on the weather and size of the tides. The choice of different materials left, each time the tide went out, was fantastic. There were so many different sorts and colored shells that I had never had the chance to use before, fossilized sharks teeth and amazing wizened orange rock created by tiny sea worms.
The rock was harder to find and only arrived a few times so it was really exciting to find .
The collecting took place nearly every day and at the beginning I was alone but soon people would help and sometimes leave piles of shells at the site. Sometimes if the tides had delivered big banks of shells they would be scooped up by tractors and use for construction of areas of hard surfaces.
I felt proud that my handpicked chosen few shells were being saved.