Mother-Of-pearl Mosaic Painting
Paintings are designed in accord with Myanmar
traditional way of life, Buddha stories and famous sceneries.
Mother of Pearl, gems and variety of oyster shell in different
colours are used for certain places to set a picture.
germs and jades of various sizes are glued on the pattern. The
significant thing about this painting is that in designing and
decorating the picture, all the works are done only by
hand. Most people know only that pictures are sketched with
pencil or painted with brush in watercolour or oil.
How a picture of mother of pearl mosaic is
The answer is, Myeik Archipelago in Southern
Myanmar abound with variety of oysters, including pearl oysters.
Shells are various colour and sizes. The largest shell of an
oyster is about 9 inches.
To shape and design these shells, first to saw shells off a
piece according to the size desired, and then it is scraped off by a
sharp knife and sand paper to get original
colors. Some shell
give green and some give brown, black and white. Mother
of pearl has five colour layers. the first layer is green, second layer
is brown, third layer is light brown, fourth layer is white and fifth
and final layer is shiny rainbow colours.
are covered in moss and slime make gray and dull in sea water. Therefore, oyster shells
need to be cleaned to bring out the gloss and sheen. The
instrument used in this process is a small, mechanized wheel to which sand paper
has been attached. After repeated rubbings the last layer of
original shiny rainbow colours slowly emerge.
Depend on design and colours to be used in painting that mother of pearl
will be seen in its natural colour of green and brown in some painting
that you may not notice it.
Thus, the characteristics of mother of pearl painting are;
1 – All colours seen in a picture are natural colour of shells and no
artificial colour was used.
2 – The designer need great creative eye and imaginary feeling within
3 – All process is done by hands, need skill and time.
Creating an inlaid mosaic picture of mother-of-pearl. One has first to draw an
outline sketch on a piece of velvet. The mother-of-pearl and other
shells are then cut and fashioned according to the pattern, colour and
figure to be glued onto the velvet piece. But it is not simple
task of gluing together the pieces. Each piece has to be
carefully laid in the appropriate place so that its hues will not clash, and the one
needs an artistic eye. Moreover, the right size of shell has to
be selected from the very beginning. The sparkle colours of the shell are natural. After the colourful
mother-of-pearl has been laid then semi-precious and
low-grade gems are
around the shell figures to enhance their
When the picture has been completed it is first aired
and dried before putting the picture in a glass frame. Now you
have an artistic picture that is very similar to a painting, but
is actually a mosaic of inlaid mother-of-pearl and
colored stones. All in all, it needs a creative
imagination, an artistic eye and skill to produce such a picture. These
oyster shells with their hidden beauty were once unseen
under the waves of the seas. But the innovative spirit of
man has been able to create a thing of beauty. This special
inlaid mother-of-pearl picture first appeared on the Myanmar
market about ten years ago.
Now they have begun to draw the
attention of buyers from
far and near.
These purely hand-made paintings can now be seen in foreign markets and
we can be proud of them because these are the creation of Myanmar
Fine Arts Handicraft Gallery
- Items for sales
1. Paintings made of mother-of-pearl & gems.
2. Teak sculpture of various figures.
3. Utensils made of mother-of-pearl.
4. Other Myanmar traditional handicrafts.
No. 202, Shwegabar housing, Mindama Road ,
TEL: ++95 9 5102071 (Mr. Ko Cho), 01++95 1 656597