Since these spectacularly arresting colours channel happy thoughts into my day it seemed fitting that this Oyster Art be called ‘Channeling’.
I made a 335km round trip to St Peters Bay, on Prince Edward Island’s north shore looking for oyster shells. It was taking a chance that I’d find at least one interesting one. As it turned out the journey was well worth it! Shown above is the Google map outlining my journey and also the aquaculture map which indicates the various locations and types of aqua-farming is taking place.
The Bay’s cool fresh waters provide optimal growing conditions for farmed oysters. Channeling’s inspiration oyster shell (shown below) was grown using an off bottom method which allows the oysters to more easily access food and nutrition in the water, resulting in increased growth rates. After harvest the oysters are culled, cleaned and graded. The undersized oysters are placed back in the water to continue to grow.
The Bradleys, two fishers who had just returned to the wharf, kindly gave me some fresh oyster empties. I spent some time watching them use their onboard tumbler to sort the shells by size.
The tumbler rotates the oysters down the spinning assembly line that has varying size holes starting with the smallest. The smallest oysters drop through the first size holes into a bin underneath while larger ones move along. As the holes become incrementally larger the next bigger size oyster drops through a hole into a bin.
Channeling is in the Oyster Art Open Edition. CLICK HERE to see sizes, substrates and prices.