This is the story of Uncle Shell, who’s been working with shells for the past 40 years. No one knows his name; we just call him “Uncle Shell”. He collects shells from all of Sri Lanka’s beaches, with a special government permit from the Department of Fishery. All the shells he collects are already dead, making his work free from animal cruelty, which is rare in the field of fishery…
From the shells he makes bracelets, necklaces, earrings, key-chains and so on. He’s won 3 awards as an artist craftsman. Now all his 7 daughters have their own shell companies set up, just like him.
Each year, the government chooses Uncle Shell to train unemployed girls to work with shells, inspiring them to set up their own businesses. His award-winning creations, made from already-dead shells, can be found at Valampuri Kite Resort and in handicraft shops throughout Sri Lanka.
Written by Frederique