Designer Karen Robertson Gives Ancient Shells New Life

Artist and designer Karen Robertson gives ancient shells new life.

By Carol Tisch May 30, 2014

Hi shop shells lb8p26

Making a splash at the spring High Point, N.C. furniture market, artist and designer Karen Robertson unveiled new fabrics, pillows, fancifully colored sea fans and fossil shells. The “Marine Queen,” as design insiders call her, says her cache of museum-quality shells mounted on calipers features fossils from the former APAC pit in Sarasota (now a rowing facility in Nathan Benderson Park). “I bid on a lot of 50,000 shells, all from the Pliocene era; the owner said it was all or nothing,” she recalls. Shown here in Robertson’s Ponte Vedra, Fla., living room, the caliper fossil shells ($325) and framed sea fans (from $450 for 13-inch by 15 inch) can be purchased at one of her favorite coastal stores in America: FantaSea Sarasota, 378 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-3031.

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