In my children’s book, Uleyli- The Princess & Pirate, Uleyli carved a “seashell medallion” that ultimately changed her life. The necklace is actually based on a real artifact. Known by archaeologists as a shell gorget, these artifacts have been found throughout the eastern United States. The spider design is one of several popular designs that also included rattlesnakes and woodpeckers. These designs were created between the years 1100 AD – 1600 AD. These designs were carved onto seashells that originated from the Gulf Coast of Florida which shows there was a far-flung trading network that carried these items to sites across the Southeastern U.S. and beyond.
A few modern artisans have revived the ancient art of shell carving. Here’s the modern process used by Florida artisan Grady Smith to recreate these beautiful works of art. (Buy Now.)