N is for Nacre [ney-ker]
Nacre is also known as mother-of-pearl, the iridescent layer of a mollusk shell. The outer layer of pearls and the inside layer of pearl oyster and freshwater pearl mussel shells are made of nacre. Nacre is composed of hexagonal platelets of aragonite (a form of calcium carbonate), separated by sheets of organic matrix composed of elastic biopolymers. This mixture of brittle platelets and thin layers of elastic biopolymers makes the material strong and resilient. Nacre has been used over many centuries for all kinds of decorative purposes--from buttons to furniture inlay. From raw mother of pearl, Cebu craftsmen combined it with brass, gold or silver-plated metal and made it into something elegant and luxurious.
|a mother-of-pearl butterfly dish
|cast brass crab with mother-of-pearl dish
Linking to ABC Wednesday