SHELL BLANKS, SOLID (TRADITIONAL STYLE)
Most shells are becoming increasingly hard to procure in the best sizes and grades, due to a number of problems in the various fisheries, which is why we have had to discontinue both Paua and Green abalone in the classic "blank" form. Laminated VENEER PLY Sheets (or ABALAM, also GRAVLAM) allow us to get about five or six times the yield from raw shell, are our best way to preserve dwindling resources, and have many other advantages as outlined in the notes for those materials.
A few very large or especially high-grade (jewelry quality) pieces are sometimes available in all shell types: please call, or send full-size drawings of your pattern so we can help you select any unique materials for that "special" job.
WHITE M.O.P. SELECT : The “Select Color” blanks are usually plain (unfigured) but have strong red and green iridescence. The “Select Figure” blanks typically show minimum color, but have sharply defined internal figure (such as rays, ripples, and cloud-like or “hammered-metal” formations).
WHITE M.O.P. UNSORTED : These blanks have not been graded, or closely trimmed of all bad corners or edges, but is the natural mix of shell from preliminary processing at our Nacreshops. Quality is excellent, and the job is left to you to separate various grades befitting your own nervous system! By far, the best value for your cash unless you have need only for our specific grades as listed.
GOLD M.O.P. : The gold color layer in this type of shell is not very thick, so most blanks will display strong color on one face, and be paler or whitish on the back side. But, since the white nacre which adjoins the yellow always has tremendously intense color “flash”, using the blanks “upside-down” results in spectacularly iridescent “white” inlays!
BLACK M.O.P. : As with GOLD M.O.P., the thin color layer produces blanks which are whitish on the backside. Limited availability at times, so contact us before ordering.
GREEN SEA SNAIL : Very pale, slightly greenish hue, highly iridescent, typically with an attractive rolling movement in the light. Limited availability, so ask first.
RED ABALONE UNSORTED -- CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE : All blanks are of the best quality, with any flaws or bad edges trimmed away, and include all former grades such as #1, small, large, extra large, select color, and heart – you sort it! Because of problems with overfishing, otter depredation, and the ongoing occurrence of a deadly “withering foot disease”, the commercial wild-caught Red ab. fishery has been closed indefinitely; when our small stock of raw shell is exhausted, there ain't gonna be no mo!VIOLET OYSTER : Because the shells are deeply dished, thin, and tiny (only about 3”-4” long), and making them a real pain to process, these blanks are correspondingly small (about 1” X 3/8”, more or less), and usually limited to thicknesses of only .020” and .030” (.51mm and .76mm). But these inconveniences are more than offset by their exotic deep violet color (almost black if not under a strong light), often with a fine, sharp “washboard” or “rippled” figure. Very subtle, and great for small inlays, details in composite inlays, decorative border strips, or jewelry!