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 governments chooses him to train unemployed girls to work with shells, so that they can set up their own businesses and make a living for themselves and their families. You can find his work at of Valampuri kite Resort, and in governmental handicraft shops and other handicraft shops across the country. Just ask: “Is it the work of Sangou-Mama?”
Written by Frederique