Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Clam Garden for Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
created by Kiki van der Heiden
Shaw Center for the Salish Sea, Sidney, BC
June 23 – August 26 / 2016
“Earlier this Spring I was invited to create a new intertidal felt piece focussing on a clam garden habitat for Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. This felt piece will be used as a tool for their education programs at the local aquarium in Sidney, where they expect over 80.000 visitors this year. A clam garden is created in a natural clam beach by clearing the rocks and terracing the area with a rock wall to increase clam production.
For this project I work in both wet felting and dry needle felting techniques. Using a resist, I created pockets in the felt, to allow for real shells to be hidden in the mud flats. These shells can be pulled out by curious visitors, or educators, to reveal what’s living underneath the surface. I’m creating three dimensional creatures with wet felting techniques, finishing the details with needle-felt techniques once they are dry and filled with wool. I’m also integrating real shells into the piece. The full table piece measures 2’ x 3’.”
Kiki van der Heiden Haida Gwaii, BC
The Shaw Center for the Salish Sea, in Sidney, BC, works in partnership with Parks Canada. During Summer 2016, there will be two Parks Canada students at the Center conducting Parks Canada programs- including a program about clam gardens using Kiki van der Heiden’s felt work. This work will also be used by park staff at outreach events and in First Nations communities to share knowledge about clam gardens.