View Full Version : What would you like to see?
05-27-2007, 11:42 AM
I'm going to be teaching 'pearls' in a few months.
I can tell a lot and show many many pictures, but I guess people would want to see the real thing (I would...).
So here's my question: what should I bring?
My shopping list so far is single freshwater pearls in white, pink, lavender and black, a string of freshwater pearls with as many different natural colors as possible, single akoya pearls in white and black, single southsea pearls in white and golden and a black tahitian pearl.
Should I show akoya pearls with diffentent overtones? And how about different overtones in the tahitian pearls? Is that necessary (big investment) or not?
Would you like to see best quality (AAA)?
Anything else you can think of?
And does anybody know if it is possible to buy just one loose hanadama pearl?
05-27-2007, 03:22 PM
A tissue and a bead nucleated pearl cut in half...
At least pictures of different shapes.
Some pictures of (badly) treated and natural pearl surface under relevant magnification...
A shell with blister pearl on (unless that's common sight in curio shops nearby).
And would definitely include a world map with pearl-producing spots among the slides.
Speaking of slides, there were some magnificent pictures showing the range of colors of Cortez pearls posted here, better resolution versions would work great to show how far diversity (= choice) can go if one takes the time to look.
Would imagine that a range of examples for black lip colors would be expensive, unless you can borrow a nice multicolor strand for the course...
Who will be the lucky students?
05-27-2007, 04:28 PM
When I teach pearls, I include some shells I have collected. I have a mussel shell, a pinctada maxima with a gold lip (that was given to me as a set of salad plates!), an akoya shell and an ordinary oyster shell. I would use more if I had them. I take along a small gorgeous abalone shell too. Most have seen abalone shells, few know they are pearl-bearing mollusks, too. I also have a large conch shell- come to think of it. I think I'll take next time as an example of a non-nacreous pearl shell.
I like to start with asking the question, "Where do pearls come from". someone, if not several people, will say, "Oysters!" so I show them the oyster shell, which they all recognize and explain that is is a non-nacreous shell of a kind that does not produce pearls and show how it is far removed in looks from the pearl producing mollusks, which aren't true oysters at all. Then I show the rest of the shells explaining what nacre is and how it manifests in a variety of sea shells and freshwater mussel shells, which are very pretty (and useful) shells.
If you are going to do this more than once, you might want to put together one of each of many kinds of colors and shapes of pearls as V101 has mentioned, above. I knew someone who put many kinds of examples all on one strand and called it a "teaching" strand, which it certainly would be. Many kinds of pearls can be addd to such as strand, such as eamples of pearls with orient, luster and water, the last of which is not common, even in the best pearls. Treated and untreated pearls make a great topic, and geat examples on a teaching strand because most people including jewelers) do not know how much treatment (artifical enhancement) their pearls have had. That knowledge is often surprising for people to hear.
Hope this is helpful to you and/or other folks "talkin' pearl"!
You know, folks who work with loose pearls and or beads often keep one or more of each pearl with its reorder info in little thunbnail size- plastic bags with labels. This is good for storage, bad for teaching. I am trying to think of a way to make each pearl easily detachable from a strand. What comes to mind is to put each teaching pearl on its own piece of thread with a tag that labels it and tie it into a loop that is easily moved on and off another "mother" thread. I had a flash of having a piece of chain and putting a lobster clasp on each individual pearl's thread and hook it onto the chain, or maybe to a board.
A board with the labels and info written on the board and its own example tied to each label, might be a another way to present and oganize material.
If these aren't the kind of ideas you had in mind, please forgive an old lady :pand lowly beader ;)who is just sitting here and thinking what I would do.
05-27-2007, 04:58 PM
I edited the above and added so much, I though I'd better go on in a new post. The shell collection has other lead-ins I forgot to mention above.
I use the freshwater pearlbearing mussel shell as a reference point for mentioning how they are the "lungs" of the water they live in and how American rivers were once full of different species of pearl bearing mussels and now how many are endangered by polluted waters and/or already died off - which is why we buy our freshwater pearls from China!
I just try to pop a sentence in about a subject like this, just to plant a seed, it is too big a subject to get lost in a one time pearl teaching session, but it is really an important subject to me, so I mention it whenever possible- including in this thread!;)
05-27-2007, 05:00 PM
Could I also add, please include:
1. Some keishi (keshi) pearls
2. Non traditional pearl shapes, "Coin" pearls in different shapes. coin, flower, bar, star, because these are usually mop nucleated, and others that are tissue nucleated, like the crosses and sticks. They have such beautiful natural colors.
Sounds like fun!
so many pearls, so little time
05-27-2007, 06:49 PM
Wow, thanks so far for your input!
I'm searching e-bay for the perfect keishi pearl, still waiting to find one with great orient.
The 'cut in half'-pearls are a great idea! I will do my best to incude those.
I'm working hard on the oyster and mussel shells. A Pinctada Maxima is in the mail, and I will get a mussel next month (I'm already starting a small anthill in my garden to get it cleaned ;) ). Now I just need to find an akoya oyster.
I already have many different shapes of freshwater pearls, so that part is covered.
05-27-2007, 06:56 PM
RE. Ke(i)shi... that some round or symmetrical exist doesn't seem to be common knowledge at all. Worth mention, IMO.
Large ones would make rather pricey teaching material though. :o
05-27-2007, 07:16 PM
I thought of a rock tray, the kind we made in geology, but Caitlin's idea of a strand is much better. Good luck with your teaching. You have lots and lots of suggestions on how to improve your lesson. All I can add is encouragement.
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