Inspired by the unique structure of the Precious Wentletrap shell – a conical spiral supported by external arches – this project set out to re-create its form in a variety of media, and also examined the 18th-century East-West trade in shells and similar natural wonders.
A fictitious blog recreating the life of an 18th-century Dutch East Indies mariner obsessed with finding the shell was created and is now archived on this website.
The large-scale version of the shell below was created from stiffened tights, and features towards the end of the mariner’s story. A leather-bound manuscript diary of the mariner’s story was created to parallel his blog. Similarly his voyage was tracked on both Google Earth and an 18th-century Dutch map.