Welcome

Welcome to my blog, random stuff about me and where I live, plus some bits about my jewellery.

Ley Holloway is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Day out at Westward Ho!

Bit of a grotty day after all that lovely unexpected sun recently, we had decided to go to Westward Ho!, well known as the only place with punctuation as part of it's name. We realised that we'd never been there, despite living here for 7 years and having visited the West Country loads of times on holiday.
It's a nice Victorian village, with a broad sandy beach, it has a pebble ridge behind the beach which is probably part of the sea defences. There are plans to 'do up' the village a bit with a nice revamped green behind the beach, nice modern seating and lots of glamorous sea front apartments.
Being awkward types we walked along the pebbly, rather' bouldery', bit on the left hand side of the beach,

Wonderful row of wooden posts on the Westward Ho! beach.

 which becomes ridges of slatey rocks leading out to sea. There's a nice tidal swimming pool in the rocks, where we watched a black Labrador having a lovely swim!
After lunch in a nice little cafe we walked along the prom towards Abbotsham Cliffs, very windy but rather a nice walk. We didn't make it as far as the cliffs themselves, perhaps we'll go back one day and walk a bit further.
At the end of the village, standing alone on the edge of the cliffs, is a terribly sad old house, it looks Edwardian or late Victorian, and is completely neglected and falling to bits, lots of lovely stained glass all getting vandalised by stone throwers. It's all marked as private keep out and there appears to be a camera in one of the windows! What a waste of a lovely building, there's rusty scaffolding on it in places so maybe someone is trying to bring it back to life. ( After some research turns out this is Seafield House)

Walking back along a concrete covered pipe I discovered that this is a fabulous source of Anomia Cepa shells, otherwise known as Jingle shells, they are a variety of small clam which live attached to the shells of other sea creatures or to rocks, even to each other if no other surface presents! This means that their shapes vary considerably,so much so that they were called Anomia, meaning nameless, as they look so different from each other. I've found a few on my local beach at Ilfracombe but we found loads at Westward Ho!, they seem to have a thicker shell than the ones I've found before but they have great colours and are really iridescent both on the outside and inside.


Here's today's hoard soaking in soapy water to get the sea off them! Aren't they pretty!

I have two pieces of jewellery made with these shells so far.


the first piece I made, I found these fragile sections of the shells with all the chalky stuff worn away leaving just the beautiful translucent colour, I've cast a copy of the shell in silver clay and hung the two pieces together, there's a tiny seed pearl glued at the lower edge of the shell itself
Reverse, showing the silver


,









This is a more recent piece with a dyed baroque pearl hung from a piece of silver wire,  the wire can be turned over to hang on either side of the shell as I think both sides are beautiful, this is the  inside of the shell, carefully cleaned to remove chalky remains of where the animal lived.

Ley Holloway's Fan Box

Ley Holloway on Facebook