Des nacres uniques travaillées à la main

Unique hand-worked mother-of-pearl

They are the best in the area. The artisans of the Prokop workshop have been working with mother-of-pearl for over thirty years. An artistic craft work used by Maison Valencourt. A collaboration that has lasted for seven years.

It all began in the garage of a house in Pirae, on the west coast of Tahiti, at the end of the 1980s. Former cook and soldier, Wiota Prokop decided to launch into the processing of Polynesian mother-of-pearl. Artisan work at a time when modern techniques were still unknown in Tahiti.

One day, his mother gave him 20,000 FCFP (170 euros) to buy his first machine. Wiota Prokop invests in a very small millstone. A small investment which actually marks the beginning of a great and beautiful story.

In three decades, the artisan has become a reference in mother-of-pearl work, the small garage has given way to a workshop which now has around twenty employees and exports as far as Hawaii via Japan and Europe .

Sublimate the resource

Here, everything is done as a family. This is the watchword of the Prokop workshop. We work, we train and we learn together. Everyone takes care of each other as we take care of mother-of-pearl. Unique mother-of-pearls that come from the Tuamotu and Gambier. Raroia, Makemo, Takume, Rikitea…

It is in these islands that their color is the brightest and therefore the most sought after. It's a question of lagoon temperature and natural resources.

The expert hands of the workshop's craftsmen do the rest. Sorting first to choose the best quality recognizable by touch. Then stripping to remove the surface crust and see the mother-of-pearl take shape. Then a new sorting, this time, for dark and light colors before moving on to tracing the mother-of-pearl with a laser and then cutting it. Finally, sanding with different grits of small and large sizes to avoid scratches. Last step: drilling.

Patience and passion

Today, raw materials are no longer so easy to find. Asia, particularly China, imports a lot of Polynesian mother-of-pearl, leaving little room for local artisans. Over the years, the grafts have also become smaller and smaller, so the nacres no longer have time to grow. They are therefore finer and less adapted to the work of the artisans in the workshop, but these difficulties do not affect the determination and quality of the workers in the workshop. Workers with golden hands.

They are the ones who do this work of great finesse that you find at Maison Valencourt. For seven years, the workshop has been making the logo and pendants using mother-of-pearl. Small pieces with different shapes where the work is meticulous and rigorous, it requires patience and passion. It must be said that high standards are one of the hallmarks of the Prokop workshop. It translates into the finished product right through to Maison Valencourt jewelry.

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