PEARLING Is A slow dip coating process, allowing to build articial nacre of any geometry.
Pearling is a small scale machine allowing to grow nacre. Based on several scientific papers, it copies the way the oyster creates its shell by adding layers of CaCO3 and bio-polymer alternatively. The process, like within oysters, is extremely slow. It accumulates approximately 1mm every 6 months.
Industrial production is all about speed, and availability. But what happens when you have to wait for something? Is there a different relation to the object? Isn't desire built up by time ? The idea of recreating nacre through a mecanized process, that is still slow, is an attempt to question our relation to consumption and nature.
The artificiality of this process, compared to oysters, often shocks. But, if it is considered that wild pearls are forbid to hunt in most of the world, and that all the pearls in commerce are the result of industrial farming, where plastic balls are inserted into oysters for a time and then killed to get the precious pearl, is this less artificial than a machine ?
The intent of this project isn't to replace pearls, but rather to raise questions about them. Why do we sherish this material so much ? Because of its aesthetics ? The time it takes to make ? The fantasm of the sand bit ? The rareness ?
After many cycles, a layer of material starts to be visible and is identical, chemically and structurally, to mother-of-pearl.
As in the actual oyster, a first shape should be used as a template to build the mother-of-pearl. This can be in any drawning material and any shape.
The preform is first dipped into a solution containing Aragonite, a calcium carbonate, the main material of mother-of-pearl.
The platelets of Aragonite that are not parallel to the surface are washed out with a bath in deonized water.
The last step of the cycle is to dip the preform inside a solution containing a surface-charged biopolymer, also called a polyelectrolyte. The one used here is chitosan, extracted from crab shells.
The Pearling machine dips the preform into 3 baths for about 8 minutes each time. It repeats the process for hundreds of times, as each dipping cycle adds a few microns of material to the preform. It takes about 6 months to build a millimeter of material.
28.02.2019 - 30.09.2019
Milan Design Triennale
French Section - Design as a large ring
James Dyson Bursary
27.11.2018 - 06.12.2018
Musée des Arts et Métiers
03.06.2015 - 06.03.2016
Musée des Arts et Métiers
Design / Invention, Regards Croisés
04.04.2014 - 06.04.2014
Carreau du Temple
25.04.2013 - 01.09.2013
Alive - aux frontières du design
09.04.2013 - 14.04.2013
Milan Salone del Mobile
04.11.2012 - 18.11.2012
20.06.2012 - 01.07.2012
Royal College of Art