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News Story
Updated: 11/23/2017 08:30:02AM

A Florida Christmas tree

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SUN PHOTO BY KIM COOL

Artist Peter Murfitt talks about the seashell collection that turned into a business.

SUN PHOTO BY KIM COOL

Artist Peter Murfitt displays a collection of Line Fish (variety of star ffish) discovered at Manasota Beach several months ago..

SUN PHOTO BY KIM COOL

This 24-inch tall tree is an example of the larger trees made by artist Peter Murfitt, founder of Trees by the Sea in Venice.

SUN PHOTO BY KIM COOL

Some of the more unusual shells discovered on area beaches by Peter Murfitt include this calico crab.

SUN PHOTO BY KIM COOL

Artist Peter Murfitt holds a horse conch which he uses as a tree base.

SUN PHOTO BY KIM COOL
This 24-inch Christmas tree is loaded with a variety of collectible shells and other items found on area beaches as well as one shark tooth from Venice Beach. Shark teeth are a trademark of Murfitt's trees.

By KIM COOL

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Peter Murfitt’s passion for Christmas trees and shells led to a new career.

When he lived in Maryland and coached figure skaters, he began decorating miniature Christmas trees that he gave to his students. He also collected shells when he went to the beach — in Maryland, Florida or wherever.

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