The Abalone Nomad is me — David Stillwell. I am a native of California who grew up along Mendocino's Lost Coast. My ancestors include the Karuk Tribe along the Klammouth River and also from the Round Valley Tribes in Covelo, California. Abalone were a part of my family's way of life and as such, I celebrate that heritage by creating one-of-a-kind piece of abalone jewelry.
The abalone shell that I use in my jewelry is obtained legally either by beach combing or through the legal and regulated harvest of abalone via the California Department of Fish and Game. This is a new venture for me — jewelry making — but it feels like what I should be doing. There are a few reasons why I focus on abalone as a medium. First, this is an important organism. I want people to recognize that the creation of beautiful products can be sustainable, and environmentally friendly if collected and supported through legal and environmentally appropriate channels.
My studio is a spare corner in my home. I live in Sacramento, California, but am from the little hamlet of Westport, California. The abalone I use in my art comes from that area and is primarily red abalone.
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