Here are new, contemporary perspectives on a craft from the 1800s, including eighteen top artists' insights about Sailors' Valentines plus more than 300 photos of their exquisite work. This collection shows how the once-obscure Victorian-era craft has gained its steadily-increasing popularity today. Sailors' Valentines, amazing mosaics of finely-crafted shell work usually set in an octagonal box, were originally created as gifts for the loved ones of sailors who were returning home to America, England, and Holland. The surprising history of the craft is explained--including how a 1961 revelation put rest to the myth that sailors made these pieces. Highly imaginative, remarkably colorful, and executed with great vision and precision, these contemporary artists' examples of Sailors' Valentines will inspire artists and others to become lovers of shell art themselves.
Pamela Boynton has been making, studying, and restoring Sailors' Valentines for fourteen years, and along the way has gotten to know many of today's Sailors' Valentine artists. She spent her career as a director of publications at various schools in New England. She is featured in the documentary 7 Sanibel Artists.