To mimic the fabrication of pearls
Emile de Visscher
Imagine being able to grow your own pearls at home. Even better, imagine being able to ‘pearl’ any object you have at home, to preserve, solidify and transform it into an item of jewellery. This is possible with ‘Pearling’. In a world where science and technology are developing ever faster, new technologies can facilitate the mimicking of nature and the development of artificial materials. Based on research in cutting-edge chemistry, I have developed a way of producing manmade pearls. Literally mimicking the way an oyster makes a pearl, the technique consists of placing a small object through successive baths of polarised materials which are dispersed in water. Not only is this new material beautiful, but it displays the same structural characteristics of pearls – it is highly resistant to breakage, yet extremely light.
Creating a means to grown our own pearls is also a way to question the value of our everyday objects and our relationship to materials.
Creating a means to grown our own pearls or to coat our personal objects with a pearling process is also a way to question the value of our everyday objects and our relationship to materials. Indeed, if we give that much value to a natural material produced by oysters, what would happen it became easily replicable at home? Is it the aesthetic of the material that gives it its value? Is it the fact that it is produced by a shellfish? Is it about the time it takes? ‘Pearling’ raises a number of questions – but does not claim to answer them. By questioning a simple process, this project questions the duality between the possible and the preferable.