Mother of Pearl, otherwise known as nacre is produced by mollusks as an inner shell layer, it also makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is a strong, resilient and iridescent material that has been used for thousands of years, mainly in the form of inlay.
Natural MOP has many different applications worldwide, in both expensive and inexpensive items. It can be commonly found in East Asian and Islamic religious art, popular Victorian household items such as knife handles and buttons, as well as Chinese gaming counters and delicate caviar spoons. As a material it is more widely used than pearls, however, despite its popularity, it has never reached the pearls symbolic status.
The collection ‘MOP Tiles’ aims to explore the potential of MOP and its many beautiful colours. Exploiting MOP’s light weight quality, Melanie chose to create large necklaces and bracelets for this collection. Utilizing waterjet cutting technology, she was able to ensure that all the repeated components were exactly the same size before being threaded together on silk thread. This assembly method, referencing the classic pearl necklace, enabled her to achieve effortless curves and add volume to these otherwise flat mosaic-like forms. The majority of the pieces in the collection are reversible, featuring different coloured MOP on each side, and all are beautifully finished with 18ct gold custom made clasps featuring Tahitian, South Sea or the highest quality Freshwater pearls.