The Falmouth ArtMarket features music by Black Whydah on Thursday, August 11, at Falmouth Marina Park, 180 Scranton Avenue. The ArtMarket is open every Thursday through September 1, offering fine arts and crafts from 11 to 5 PM, a Book Booth featuring local authors from 11 AM to 2 PM, and musical entertainment from 2 to 4 PM.
Black Whydah is Jean Sagara, Cathy Hatch, and John Best, a vocal and instrumental group offering three-part harmonies on a mix of Irish, old-time, bluegrass, folk, and original compositions. Band members play fiddles, guitars, cittern, mandolin, banjo, ukuleles, and other, in Sagara’s words, “amazing things with strings.” They are known for their lively and entertaining concerts with something for everyone. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the show.
The featured author is Sandra Faxon. Her book, “Oh! Did You Know That…” features her lively cut paper collages and watercolors of sea animals and the surprising answers to questions you never asked about them. Faxon also sells her prints of her collages and watercolors at the ArtMarket
One of the many artists and craftspeople showing their wares at the Falmouth ArtMarket is Debra Rogers of Cape Cod Booty, who makes fine jewelry from North Atlantic whelk shells. She is passionate about the ocean, aquaculture, and sustainability, and her work reflects her enthusiasm and love of nature.
She uses all parts of the shell: the smooth outer surface (after removing the barnacles), the inner spirals, and the whorl at the top of the shell, adding .925 sterling silver or 14K gold-fill and genuine healing gemstones. The result is natural jewelry that is both fine and funky, completely natural and artistically crafted.
Her interest in whelk shells began while she was working on the Mashpee Wampanoag oyster farm one summer. She became intrigued with the “mystical geometric patterns within the shells.” Respecting the native roots and people of the region, she creates designs inspired by “nature’s patterns, curves, and the vibrant varying tones within the shells.”
She obtains the shells through a fisherman friend who harvests them for food. The meat is tasty, according to Rogers, but more popular in the South and in China than in New England. She also beachcombs and has friends who beachcomb for her. “I happily trade jewelry for a big bundle of shells,” she said.
Rogers uses a variety of power tools and jewelers’ tools to fashion jewelry out of the whelk shells, making use of the natural spiral shapes and delicate colors of the material. She also works by hand to carve, shape, sand, and polish the pieces before adding silver and gems.
Rogers has been making jewelry for 25 years, initially specializing in macrame and beads. When she began working with whelk shells six years ago, she spent the first five years learning how to bring out the beauty of the shells and improving and perfecting her techniques. She attends to the small details, like making earrings that swivel “so there is movement to the earrings, and people can see all sides of the shell.”
She has been selling her whelk jewelry for the past year and currently sells not only at the ArtMarket, but also at Under the Sun, Fisherman’s Pantry, and other local shops, and is happy to do custom work.
The name Cape Cod Booty reflects the fact that Rogers’ pieces are not only authentic Cape Cod treasures, but that they are a little funky too. “My husband and I love to go out dancing and shake our booties, so that’s why it is called Cape Cod Booty,” she said with a smile.
Rogers enjoys sharing information on whelks, ocean ecology and how she makes her jewelry. “Marrying art and science is my favorite thing,” she said.
For more information on Cape Cod Booty, visit www.capecodbooty.com
For more information on the Falmouth ArtMarket, including a schedule of musicians and a list of vendors, visit