Crystals or glass are popular materials for chandeliers because of the effect they produce on light as it passes through them. Capiz shell is another material that produces outstanding patterns and magnificent glow when light pass through it. Therefore, it is also used in lighting fixtures. Go beyond the traditional materials and choose Capiz shell chandelier to give your home a decor that stands out and captivates.
What is Capiz Shell?
Capiz shells are white circular disks that come off from the outer shell of a marine mollusk Placuna Placenta, also known as windowpane oyster. They are most commonly found in the shallow waters of Philippine and Indonesian islands from where they are exported to craftsman and jewelers all over the world. These thin shells have a pearl-like texture and have a striking sheen to them. They are semi-translucent which makes them ideal for lighting fixtures like lamps, lampshades and chandeliers.
Originally these shells were used in making windowpanes. The shells were cut into squares and were set together tightly in a wooden frame. Because of their radiating properties creative artisans started using them to make masterpieces like Capiz shell chandelier.
How Are These Shells Made into a Spectacular Chandelier?
Capiz shells are collected from the coastal areas in Philippine and Indonesia. There they are cleaned to remove water, salt and dirt. Then they are polished to enhance their shimmer and they are coated to protect them from elements like water, heat and dust. Then it is cut into the desired shape by skilled craftsmen. The shells are either used in their natural color or dyed into beautiful pastels like pink, sky blue, amber, turquoise etc.
The most common style of a Capiz shell chandelier includes the waterfall structures. The shells are drilled to make holes and are strung together to form swags. The strings of shells are then hung to a wooden frame. The strings can have equal size to form a cylinder of shells. A tier structure is also common where cylinders of different diameters are attached to each other, the diameter most commonly decreasing from top to bottom. Several variations to this style are available in the market. Another elegant and sophisticated style make use of carefully cut Capiz shells which are commonly fit into a wooden or metallic frame and tightly fixed to each other to form charming 3-dimensional structures like globe, lotus flower, or a drum shade.
Capiz shell chandelier look great on their own, but when they are illuminated from the light source within they produce a spectacular and eye-catching glimmer which will surely stop any passerby.
Differentiating Between Authentic and Reproduction:
With the popularity of these chandeliers the presence of imitations of genuine Capiz shells has become increasingly common. The faux shells are made of plastic and, if well crafted, look the same as the genuine Capiz shells. However, these plastic disks don’t irradiate the same way as a genuine shell, which shimmers a lot on illumination. In addition, a replica Capiz shell chandelier is generally much cheaper than an authentic one. Therefore, the replicas are a good affordable alternative to the real ones.