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Topic: Gorgeous Paua Shell - what to do with it ???  (Read 705 times)
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Margarita Miss
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« on: June 04, 2007 01:52:28 PM »

A friend brought some gorgeous Paua Shell back from New Zealand.  I'm not sure if the pink-peachy shell is paua as well.  Now the question - What to do with it?  I'd like to do something really nice with it.
These photos don't really do it justice.  For better photos click here:  http://everythingshunkydory.blogspot.com/2007/06/paua-shell.html
       
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2007 02:26:31 PM »

YOu could make earrings or just about any type of jewelry i think. Also you could decorate with it. Like maybe a lamp shade and just glue some to the bottom of it. If you dont understand then nvm. lol.Thats about it i guess. Sorry that arent very good ideas.
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Margarita Miss
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2007 02:34:02 PM »

I'd like to make some type of jewelry with it.  I've heard that if you grind the edges to smooth them the dust from that is very toxic.  Does anyone know if it's easy to drill a hole in the shell without cracking it?  I don't want to ruin the shells through trial and error so that's why I'm asking other craftsters.
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WIPs
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2007 05:23:37 PM »

Definitely jewelry! That'd be gorgeous!
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2007 09:39:45 AM »

We use shell like that for barettes, earrings and buttons.
For the barrettes we just glue it on, pleasingly. For earrings and buttons we keep the shape but drill holes.

To drill holes we use a drill press that has a baking pan on the table with a rubber pad (think mousepad) on it. A small water pump (like for a fountain) runs water over the shell as we drill it (make sure you have a GFI on the drill press outlet!). You can use any drill bit, but a "pearl drill" or "spade drill" works better as standard drill bits tend to screw themselves into the shell, cracking it more often than a pearl drill does. Rio Grande has pearl drills, we just make our own from carbide circuit board drill/rasps on our lapidary diamond wheel, but that's neither here nor there.

The dust is toxic to breathe as it is caustic - so that's why you need to do it under water.
Go slowly, let the drill do the work, too much down pressure will crack the shell.
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Logodae
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2007 10:51:54 PM »

Pretty. Smiley

Some sort of wire wrapping technique might be a good way to avoid drilling.
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