Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Capiz - Decorative art from the Philippines

Capiz is a province of the Philippines in Western Visayas, famous for its seashells and pearls. Capiz is also the name of the flat and transparent outer shell of placuna placenta, a mollusc found in the shallow coastal waters. The Spaniards started to use capiz very early for windows; capiz keeping the sun glare out but allowing light in.

Nowadays, capiz is being used for jewelry, as decoration for bags or shoes, lamps etc. It can also be formed into different shapes after heat treatment in a oven and subsequent flooding, glued, colored, varnished, thus widening the possibility is to use it. Unfortunately, Philippines now have to import capiz from Indonesia to sustain the handicraft.

As always, not all workplaces are equal.

Most photos by Q from Shell Arts Company in Cavite (close to Manila) in May 2007.

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