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Where Do Capiz Shells Come From? Unraveling the Secrets of Nature's Dazzling Shells

Capiz Shell Blue Spiral Chime

At Alternatives Global Marketplace, our Capiz Shell Chimes collection stands out as one of our best-selling offerings. From vibrant capiz shell strands to an array of colors and shapes in capiz shell chimes, and even magnificent large shell chandeliers, each piece is handcrafted by our esteemed fair trade artisan partners in Bali, Indonesia. Join us as we explore the origins of capiz shells and delve into the skillful craftsmanship and sustainable practices of Bali's local artisans.

The Jingle Oyster

Artisans use the shells from the jingle oyster to create the translucent shells. The jingle oyster, scientifically known as Placuna placenta, is a marine bivalve mollusk that plays a significant role in the production of capiz shells. These fascinating creatures belong to the family Placunidae and have a round or oval shape, reaching sizes of up to 15 centimeters (6 inches) in diameter. Their shells are thin and translucent, consisting of calcium carbonate layers that allow light to pass through, creating the captivating iridescent effect observed in capiz shells.

These remarkable mollusks primarily inhabit the warm tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in the shallow seas around Indonesia and the Philippines. They are commonly found in areas near coral reefs, taking advantage of the rich biodiversity and thriving marine ecosystems.

The Art of Harvesting Capiz Shells

Local artisans in fishing villages in Java masterfully repurpose discarded oyster shells into stunning capiz chimes. All parts of the jingle oysters are used including the meat for food, the shell for chimes, and shell waste for fertilizer.  Only full-grown shells are picked from the kelp beds, providing more space and food source for the young ones to grow. With great care and a deep reverence for nature, these artisans source capiz shells from local fishermen in significant quantities. Through meticulous cleaning, sorting, slicing, sanding, and dyeing, the shells are transformed, revealing their inherent radiance and vivid hues.


The sustainable utilization of discarded jingle oyster shells in the creation of capiz chimes highlights the harmonious relationship between nature, craftsmanship, and artistic expression. By repurposing these shells, we not only celebrate their natural beauty but also promote resource conservation and the utilization of all parts of the jingle oyster.

 

Capiz Shell in Purple and Yellos

From Ocean Depths to Artistic Heights

Once the raw materials are transformed into stunning translucent shells, the artisans craft the capiz shell chimes using nylon string and modern designs. With a keen eye for detail and precision, they carefully string together the delicate shells, creating arrangements that showcase the natural beauty and iridescence of capiz. The combination of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design results in chimes that are both visually striking and melodically soothing. Each piece is thoughtfully constructed, ensuring durability and longevity while maintaining the elegant aesthetic that makes capiz shell chimes a timeless addition to any space.

Visit our collection of ethical Capiz shell chimes and chandeliers at Alternatives Global Marketplace.

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