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what is Mother of pearl


Mother of pearl are founded in the depths of the seas or rivers, such as the pearl’s house. It is characterized by its multi colors which represents the spectral colors, it is the most expensive type of Mother of pearl. The Mother of pearl grafting industry originated hundreds of years ago, the historians opinion  differ about who was the first to invent it, but there is no doubt that it had mainly spread in Egypt and the Levant, where we can see the creativity of those artists made the whole world  interested in this industry and increased the fear of its extinction, Of course  there is no dispute that it first spread in Pharaonic Egypt and they are the masters of this industry. Mother of pearl are now widely founded in our daily life, as we find them at the buildings entrances, mosques, churches and chairs which are made in traditional forms.


The process of making mother of pearl


After extracting the Mother of pearl from the seas or rivers, begins the preparation phase after it reaches the person who is in charge to do his technical work. The first process after extraction is called the sanding process, this process continue until the Mother of pearl becomes smooth and then it is cut into thin slices each slice called (Mabrazah). The thickness of the Mabrazah reaches 2 And 3 mm, then then these pieces are shaped into hexagon or octagon, or any other shapes, depending on how the decorator wants it.
The previous phase is considered one of the most difficult phases. The cutting of the Mother of pearl process is one of the most accurate operations in this profession, it requires experience and effort to get the desired shape. One Piece takes a long time to reach the shape the decorator desires, and the time may reach 5 minutes, while a small piece takes three days to finish work on it. (such as hospitality boxes or ashtray), If the piece is larger, it takes six days working , and for three months if it is a piece of furniture such as chairs
Walnut wood is used because it is easy to drill and has a large piece, it has burned brown color, it is durable, it does not crack over time. First, the shape that supposed to be curved is drawn on calque paper with a pencil and then the drawing is transferred to the wood. There can be different types of wood  in order to achieve distinction in every piece produced, For example they use  poplar, walnut, olive, sherbet, jasmine, juniper, elm, sandalwood, pine and cypress.


Ways to inlay wood with Mother of pearl 


1-The ancient Arabic method is the origin method that requires skilled manpower.
  • This method is started by the carpenter, then comes the painter who makes the desired pattern, after that the tin pound worker digs a place for the tin strings and fixes it, finally, the Mother of pearl are fixed according to the drawing. Copper and iron can be used on the wood to be inlaid. Silver strings can also be also inserted as expensive precious items
2-The Egyptian method,
  • which relies on laying Mother of pearl next to each other and filling the space with a paste, so that it appears harmoniously.


Types of mother of pearl installation


The types of shells installation differ  due to mother of pearl sizes, shapes, or the way they are decorated. For example, there are Arabic method, tree method, and engineering method, Engineering methed are used to decorate small pieces such as small boxes. As for tree methed are used to decorate larger pieces such as chairs and large wooden pieces.


Mother of pearl colors


There are multiple colors, including pink,white, rainbow, green, black and yellow. The price of shell pieces varies according to the size and shape of the piece, the time it took to produce, the effort expended and the type of mother of pearl used in the decoration.
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