View Full Version : using shells
18-03-2010, 10:24 PM
Im doing some combs, pins and possibly a side tiara for a friends daughter whose wedding has a nautical theme. She has a load of shells she has picked up around the world, plus I have lovely paua shell pieces I bought in New Zealand plus a very pretty pink shell whose name I cant remember.
Ive also bought a tub of shells from a pound shop ... really good value!
Ive finally had my chuck and fine drills delivered today and have spent some time drilling shells ... with a few casualties along the way, plus one or two holes in my bench peg .. oops!
I wondered if anyone had used shells in this way before and had any tips or advice for me.
18-03-2010, 10:58 PM
Diamond bits are best, and let them do the work for you - don't try to press down. Always drill shells (or any other organic material of this type) under water, as inhaling the dust is very, very bad for you (can lead to serious lung problems).
19-03-2010, 08:52 AM
I use quite a bit of Paua and normal shells and find that I get best results from using a bow drill (archemides) easy to control and does not shatter the shell
19-03-2010, 08:57 AM
Do you work the Paua shell from whole? A friend of mine recently sent some shells over for me to play with so I've been reading up on the subject. I've seen one suggestion to pickle the outside of the shell off with brick acid, but I'll need to try on a scrap to see if it leaves the inside untouched.
19-03-2010, 11:40 AM
I happened to go to a shop which had bags of paua shell pieces, so I bought one.
I did make a discovery the other day. I was varnishing some shells as it really brings out the colours and I used a piece of paua that looked grey so was not bothered about ruining it, when I painted it with the varnish it went a beautiful blue colour .. amazing!
You could use google.co.nz to discover paua shell jewellers who could help you with your question Peter.
Thanks for replies so far.
Has anyone used glue? Ive got 2 part epoxy.
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