VIX Jewellery

mother of pearl

Getting the best out of my collection of seashell fragments

Vicki IoannouComment

So, today I was feeling like I should polish something.  The shell fragments I collected from the beach a few weeks ago were winking at me so I grabbed a likely looking piece and started the process of acid wash.  The acid removes a lot of the calcification. 

I would not bother with this process on anything tiny and fragile, this process is best for heavy chunks of shell that are nacre-rich.  Anything else just weakens in the acid bath and crumbles when it is handled.  This shell is about 1/8” nacre, so it can stand the intensity. 

The acid wash is done in 30 second increments, as I have to be mindful that only calcium deposits are removed.  What I want is a sturdy piece of attractive, useable material to be the result. 

Of course, this process must never be done without the proper precautions taken.  This is a professional grade workshop, so safety is a top priority here. 

The shell has emerged as a potential beauty, so I moved on to the grinder where the sharp, rough edges were removed and smoothed down to a wearable condition.  This process is actually hellish on the hands, but the result is worth it.

Began with this fragment of Turbinidae shell.

Began with this fragment of Turbinidae shell.

Lots of rainbow shades in the nacre

Lots of rainbow shades in the nacre

I left just a dash of the colour which is dark green

I left just a dash of the colour which is dark green