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How to cut and polish shells


#1

Good Morning Folks!

I was wondering if I could get some assistance. I am looking to
start to carve and engrave jewelry in abalone, paua, and mother of
pearl shell.

I really dont know the first place to start! Ive carved a few
pieces with a dremel drill, but mostly geometric shapes, with no
real engraved detail. I have been using polished shells, and I am
afraid that if I were to carve designs into the shell that it would
lose its luster.

How do you restore the shine to a shell once a design has been
carved onto it?

I would really appreciate any tips and tricks in this matter. I
know that it is best to carve and cut shells wet, and wearing an
asbestos grade mask. What about gloves? What tools and materials
do you all suggest for me to work the shell? Where might I find
such supplies?

Thanks in advance!
Steve