Dreamcatchers made with shells collected from New Zealand shores

My dreamcatchers are my own design incorporating sea shells that are mostly collected by hand by me. I add ornaments to them that I make from air dry clay and these shells. The hoops are wrapped in ribbon or jute and the webs are made with bamboo, jute or paper twine.

Dreamcatchers are said to protect the one sleeping when the dreamcatcher is placed over the bed or place of repose.

Traditionally they protect children from bad dreams and evil spirits. The spider web design of the dreamcatcher allows good dreams to pass through and float down the hanging beads and feathers to the child whilst the bad dreams are caught in the web and are destroyed by the light of the new day.

These dreamcatchers have been a work in progress for me. Initially I was working just with air dry clay which allowed me to use shells in a way that isn't possible with kiln dried clay because the heat would destroy them. Over a few years of experimenting with ideas I started making dreamcatchers which I found very satisfying in ways I didn't expect. During my early years of growing up, I spent a lot of time sewing and knitting etc so the details of making dreamcatchers came easily.

The folklore behind the dreamcatcher also appeals to me and I have taken inspiration from the native American tradition from the past.

Also see/follow my Instagram page @shellandshore for updates of new work.