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Mother-of-Pearl Mandala

Mother-of-Pearl MandalaMother of pearl is also called “nacre,” it’s that lovely, satiny-looking stuff that is on the inside of some shells. I have seen it used a lot: to embellish jewelery, clocks, musical instruments—you name it, usually done as an elaborate inlay technique. I knew a luthier who made his own stringed musical instruments, and often did mother of pearl inlays on his own stuff and that made for other people. The process is painstaking, and produces some gorgeous results.

When this mandala turned out the way it did, I instantly thought of his inlay work.  Hence the title, Mother-of-Pearl Mandala.

What is mother of pearl:

From GemstoneEducation.com:

The Mother of Pearl is not a gemstone per se, but organic mineral that is created by living organisms. While most people are aware of pearls, the Mother of pearl is made from the same substance—calcium carbonate.

Mollusks such as oysters and abalones create the mother of pearl by secreting special substances that consist of calcium carbonate. The scientific formula is CACO3. This secretion is extremely fine, less than a millimeter thick and it is created into a structure of platelets that kind of resemble bricks.

Mother of Pearl can be white with iridescent colors and these colors are due to the fact that the platelets are about the same size as light waves. Mother of Pearl has been known to man for thousands of years and can be found in many regions, especially in Europe, Asia, the United States and Australia. It is said to have many magical and mystical qualities such as helping a person to be cleansed, to help a person have faith and to be pure.

1 Comment
  1. Loved this. Totally looks like its namesake. Very serene and beautiful. Strange, as I look at it, it appears to be turning clockwise. Can man make mother of pearl like they can synthesize pearls?

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