Monday, December 7, 2015


The St. Augustine Archaeology Association holiday party is tomorrow night which means its time again for my holiday-inspired (and archaeologically appropriate) manicure. For those of you also wanting to strike up some late 18th/early 19th century ceramics cheer, here's a tutorial to help you get your brush on!

Blank slate

Start with layers of white

Add thick tip of red to every other nail

Alternate with green tips between the red

To give impression of shell edging, use thin white brush to paint up to nearly the edge of the red tip.

Repeat painting thin white line up to nearly edge of green tip.
Grab a trowel or another holiday prop.

Turns out holiday inspired nails aren't just fun, they're also educational. You can tell those admiring your nails they are based on Rococo-inspired scalloped rim plates, found by archaeologist on sites dating from the late 18th to the early 19th century. Most often we find blue, but plates featuring green and red rims were made between 1775-1810 (JefPat).

Shell edged rims in various colors (Image: Robert Hunter, Chipstone Foundation). 
Text and images: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff except where noted.

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