Handcrafted Pearl Jewellery | Our Craftsmanship at Claudia Bradby
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https://www.claudiabradby.com/about-us/our-craftsmanship

Summer Sale - Up to 40% Off Handcrafted Pearl Favourites

Our Craftsmanship

Quality Assured

Handcrafted Pearl Jewellery

The process of creation of a cultured pearl is both incredible and complex; it relies on the expertise of pearl farmers and technicians and ultimately their partnership with nature.

Natural pearls occur when a mollusc, an oyster or mussel, is invaded by a foreign substance, for example a small piece of grit or coral, washed in by the sea. The mollusc will then immediately start to build natural defences, by secreting a calcium carbonate substance called nacre around the small piece of grit. Over several years, the build-up of nacre forms a natural pearl. Cultural freshwater pearls are cultivated in much the same way as explained below.

.01 Growth

Technicians gently add a small bead or a tiny piece of mantle tissue into a live pearl mussel. This is a skilled and delicate procedure and if successful the mollusc will start to slowly deposit iridescent layers of nacre, beginning the process of the creation of a cultured pearl.

.02 Harvest

The implanted mussels are then returned to freshwater where they are regularly inspected; environmental factors such as water temperature and pollution need to be frequently monitored. Freshwater pearls typically take between 6-24 months to grow depending on type and size. The mussels can be up to A4 in size and grow many pearls to a single shell.

.03 Treatments

After being harvested the pearls undergo further treatment to prepare them for jewellery. They are soaked for several days in a mild cleaning solution under intense fluorescent light; this removes any deposits and odours that may have been picked up during their time in the water. It also enhances their surface quality.

.04 Quality

The pearls are then assessed for quality and grouped by size, shape and lustre. To assemble a single strand workers must comb through thousands of pearls to match for consistent size, shape, colour, lustre and surface quality. This is time intensive and detailed work and can take months to complete.

.05 Design

Every piece of Claudia Bradby jewellery has a special journey from idea to finished piece. After the initial hand selection of pearls and following on from the design process in Claudia’s Hampshire studio, drawings and measurements are then discussed in Hong Kong where the pearls are strung by a family business who Claudia has worked with for over 15 years.

.06 Create

For the more intricate silver pieces, Claudia works closely with a manufacturer based in Chiang Mai. This is a second generation family business, and involves very precise and highly skilled processes. Each item is either stamped or cast and involves a minimum of 6 steps to the finished piece; each step looked after by a skilled crafts person.

UK Delivery

Next Day orders placed before midday Monday-Thursday will arrive the following day by 9pm (extended by Royal Mail from 1pm due to Covid-19). Next Day orders placed on a Friday may arrive on Saturday but are not guaranteed before the following Monday (again a new update from Royal Mail). Please note we cannot guarantee a next day service during holiday periods.

International Delivery

All orders over £150 are dispatched via our signed for and fully trackable courier service. This takes maximum 5 working days during very busy periods and requires us to have your telephone number. Orders under £150 are dispatched using ROYAL MAIL INTERNATIONAL SIGNED FOR, and orders of this value to the US, Canada and Australia can take up to three weeks and your order will require a signature on receipt. Please note you may be charged local custom and duty on receipt.