Friday, July 6, 2012

Treasure from the Sea , The beautiful Mother Of Pearl

Mother of pearl , Beauty from the Ocean.

   A rainbow of colours , shimmering with irridescent light  , the Mother of pearl or MOP  as it is commonly known is a wonderful  gift from Nature. Coveted by people all over the world , for centuries this beautiful and rare material has been used in many forms . Be it inlay work  in objects de art , medicine , cosmetics (some  skin creams are said to contain this ! ) and even jewellery  , luxury watches , musical instruments , etc this is second only to pearls
    Although pearls are popular today, some past cultures regarded the colorful Mother of pearl  as a more desirable component for jewelry and other fashion objects. Mother of pearl is unique in its luster and colour , and a close second to the lusterous Pearl.  Mother of pearl is  a blend of minerals that are secreted by oysters and other mollusks and deposited inside their shells protecting them from parasites and foreign objects . These mollusks secrete fine proteins whose chemical compound is calcium carbonate, the same that is found in marble and aragonite.Also called Nacre  ,  the iridescent lining is  aligned in hexagonical platelets.  Like the pearl , the alternate layers of calcium carbonate and conchiolin layering which gives mother of pearl its sheen and smoothness similar to silk.
 Though it comes in several natural shades of white . grey or brown Mother of pearl is often bleached and dyed for decorative use .Paua shells from New Zealand  and Abalone are also used as jewellery components .

Being a lover of all beautiful things , (and a hoarder too ) I couldnt resist collecting some of these Mother of pearl objects for my collection. Each piece is unique in its value to me and holds fond memories of friends and dear ones who helped me collect them !!!!!!!!!

a beautiful vintage paper weight in granite stone  with MOP inlay work ( see the beautiful shimmer of colour captured by the camera ! )

shankh churi , mother-of-pearl

a pair of bangles from Orissa  .Wonder how the conch shell would have been cut and polished.

  New Zealand , kiwi

This beautiful sovenier is from New Zealand  . Wow , love the play of colours on the Paua shell . Reminds me of waves gently rolling on the rocks , creating a magic of their own . A gift from a dear friend , I was delighted to see the little writeup that came inside the box . Take a look

A slightly different coloured koru shell piece  . The colours radiate from white to chocolate brown . Didn`t know what Koru meant so looked up and found this definition :
The “Koru” is symbolic of the opening of a tree fern frond, representing the awakening of new life, positive change and personal growth.  The spiral depicts a new life beginning, harmony and peace.

Here`s another beauty , a gold leaf inlay pendant picked up a couple of years ago at an exhibition . Been wanting to add a beaded bail to wear as a pendant . Guess I will have to start working on it soon.

Inlay work

This beautiful leaf shaped hair clip and brooch are a gift from Mama dear . Her keen eyes always spot something unique !


 Lastly here`s something I   made using MOP discs. Bought these discs wanting to attach as a fringe . But instead embroidered on felt fabric and cut out  to make motifs . Did`nt expect that they would look so good after assembling and embroidering ! I had thought of putting them on a saree but realised they would be a bit on the heavy side. Also thought of crocheting a bag and attaching them but was undecided so I shelved the project and forgot all about it, till now.


Got a lot more to share  but I guess will have to put it off for  next time  as have some more projects to complete before I write more.

      So what do you think ? Isn`t nature wonderful in handing out gifts to us ? And , I  salute  all the craftsmen who have captured this natural beauty from the ocean and created timeless pieces of art !


  1. found your blog via SF and look forward to following you, love the flowers you have made and enjoyed looking at your mother of pearl pieces and the beautiful paua shell, all your pieces are lovely.

    1. thanx for your kind words and looking at my blog Margaret.Will definately keep a lot of posts comming !


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