Leah Allison, of Big Eddy Glassworks, is now making houses–for hermit crabs.
After receiving a request from the Ucluelet Aquarium, Allison began experimenting.
The trick is that the glass-blown shells have to be hollow all the way through, so a crab could wind its way in, she said. It took Allison several attempts and some Youtube videos to perfect the procedure.
It requires the glass tube to remain pressurized during bending and some cold cutting to add the finishing touches.
Laurie Filgiano, if the Ucluelet Aquarium, said she found Allison while searching for a B.C.-based glassblower online.
“We love supporting strong, bad-ass women, who follow their dreams and it seems like that is exactly what Leah and her husband did,”Filgiano said.
The Ucluelet Aquarium catches and releases their animals each year and their retail space is plastic free.
The shells Allison made will be placed with the hermit crabs in their tank, along with other options, leaving the crabs to decide which they would like for their home.
“If our crabs choose to take over the glass shell, it will be a really unique opportunity to see the body of the hermit crab through the clear glass,” Filgiano said.
At the end of the season, the crabs will be release back to the ocean, but the shells will remain at the aquarium for next year.
Allison said she never expected to be making sea shells for hermit crabs, but embraces every opportunity that comes her way.