Zebrawood Votive with Shell Inlay

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Project by swirlsandburls posted 06-19-2010 07:05 PM 1538 views 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi everyone. Alas, its been a long while since my last post. Just too busy with business, yard renovations and whatnot. Here is a Zebrawood votive with a new twist on inlay. I picked up a bag of tiny shells in Maine a couple of years ago. The colors were compatible and I thought the texture might work with this particular wood. I decided I really like it. The stone around the shells is green calcite, and it is over a gilded base. I left the shells open after the initial grinding; it gives even greater textural interest than completely filling with clear (or other) material. Shown with both clear and turquoise glass votives. Which one do you like best? Your comments are always welcome.

-- patience is a virtue ... in woodworking, cooking, and life in general

14 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113012 posts in 2363 days

#1 posted 06-19-2010 07:07 PM

Wow that’s amazing.

-- Custom furniture

View Mlke's profile


119 posts in 1831 days

#2 posted 06-19-2010 07:08 PM

That is very cool! how did you get the shells to be even with the votive?
imo clear looks much better than the green.

-- The hard work won't take too long, the impossible will take a little longer

View Ken90712's profile


15344 posts in 1975 days

#3 posted 06-19-2010 07:11 PM

I love it! What do you pour or put in/over the shells? Did you use clear epoxy? This is a great idea!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View SchotterWoodworking's profile


109 posts in 1816 days

#4 posted 06-19-2010 07:13 PM

Striking and impressive! I like the turquoise glass better, it seems to stand out and looks like an ocean water color which goes with the shells. Congratulations on an beautiful votive!

View swirlsandburls's profile


114 posts in 2182 days

#5 posted 06-19-2010 07:35 PM

To Ken: I use cyanoacrylate (CA Glue) as the binder in almost all my inlay work. I have tried inlace, but find the acrylic to be far superior (less smell, one-part, and sets up in minutes versus 24 hours).

To Mike, when I lay in the materials, they are “proud” of the surface. I started with the largest pieces (shells and larger chunks of stone), then fill in the voids with finer and finer stones until I am filling in the last bits with powder. I grind the stones myself to get the texture I want. I use a die grinder to get the surface almost to the same level as the wood, then sand with progressively finer grits until I am polishing with 2000

-- patience is a virtue ... in woodworking, cooking, and life in general

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2698 posts in 2073 days

#6 posted 06-19-2010 07:50 PM

Beautiful piece


-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View Jordan's profile


1358 posts in 1911 days

#7 posted 06-19-2010 08:14 PM

Very attractive! Neat idea, the shells inlay.


View Jonathan's profile


2606 posts in 1837 days

#8 posted 06-19-2010 08:35 PM

Very cool!

Definitely unique.

I think the clear votive holder looks better, as it really allows your eye to run all around the zebrawood and shell inlay. Although I agree SchotterWoodworking that the glass is reminscent of the ocean, for my eye, it’s too distracting, taking away from the wood and inlay.

Now I’m going to have to go have a look at all your other projects!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View savannah505's profile


1718 posts in 2372 days

#9 posted 06-19-2010 09:19 PM

I like this a lot, and think the turquoise is the way to go.

-- Dan Wiggins

View MrsN's profile


946 posts in 2312 days

#10 posted 06-19-2010 09:25 PM

I vote for the turquoise votive. I love the overall look of the piece. Great work.

-- ----- ----- --

View Bearpie's profile


2592 posts in 1804 days

#11 posted 06-19-2010 10:03 PM

Cool, unique idea, I love it. Both colors look good but I really believe the color scheme will be ultimately decided by your better half and probably based on the decor of the home. Personally, I would prefer a color almost the same as the background with the shells to give it unity!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View sedcokid's profile


2686 posts in 2385 days

#12 posted 06-19-2010 10:50 PM

I would have never thought to use shells in a piece such as this. It is gorgous!!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Hacksaw007's profile


598 posts in 1975 days

#13 posted 06-20-2010 12:47 AM

Stunning, wood and inlay.

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View imallchalkedup's profile


393 posts in 1768 days

#14 posted 06-20-2010 07:20 PM

My vote is on the clear one. I love the way you did your inlay with the shells, and you did a superb job, thanks for sharing.

-- RStadler

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