Monday, November 7, 2011

What Paua is made of and more!

I had an unplanned science lesson yesterday on the chemical composition of abalone (paua) shells!  I just happened to turn the tv on at a time I wouldn't usually and I still have no idea what channel or programme it actually was but there was a guy holding the biggest abalone shell I have ever seen and explaining it's chemical make-up - Fascinating!  Who knew it had the same basic structure as chalk, ie calcium carbonate but with a layer of protein in between each layer of calcium carbonate which serves to make it super strong. Ha, interesting. 

The presenter then went on to prove his point by getting several sticks of sidewalk chalk with a piece of wood on top and standing on them - no breakage!  Unlike paua shell however, chalk can easily be dissolved/broken in half - try that with an intact, fully grown paua shell (sans the paua meat of course!). 

Anyway, thinking about paua inspired me to set up my dremel and the necessary water bath and and get paua piece drilling.  Embellished paua bracelets will be the go this week :).

Other weekend highlights:

I attended the Havelock North Village Court Art & Craft Market and had a little play with a new display frame style which incorporates a multi photo-frame with the glass removed and black felt inserted as a backing.  I can't take credit for the idea, my friend and fellow jewellery designer, Ingrid of Silverworks found these frames but uses handmade paper instead of felt for hers. 

They really made a feature of my pieces, and I had lots of positive comments, although I did have to laugh that some people 'lined' them up as they were browsing rather than leave them in my preferred layout of a graduated 'V' :)  Maybe the customer is right on this one!

On Sunday I took the kids to the Haumoana Market - this is an annual event with over 200 stalls and entertainment and well supported with tens of thousands of visitors converging on the lovely Haumoana beachside township.    This was the 1st market I ever sold at several years ago and I have a soft spot for it but sadly don't have a stall there anymore due to the large amount of cheap import type stalls that now attend.

The boys loved it though .... check out their pocket money buys.... (they're hat's by the way!). 

Angry Bird - loved by all ages apparently!


  1. Very interesting Mel! I love paua, can't wait to see the new bracelet take shape! What a great idea with the frames too!

  2. Oooh! Love the frame idea too Mel - they look fantastic on your table! I'm now wondering if I can make something like that for my studio wall...the juices are flowing (just have to grab the powertools and I'm good to go LOL!). I love the boys hats too :D

  3. Love those angry birds hats... I wonder where I can get one from???

    Great to stumble upon some interesing paua info...

    The frames looked great.

  4. Oh Cool Amanda - I can imagine your pieces in a frame setting on your studio wall - fab!

    I should've taken notice what the stall was called Katherine, but if I see them in my travels, I'll let you know :)


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