CEBU'S SHELL CRAFT INDUSTRY
Cebu is an island right in the middle of the Philippine Archipelago. Its location has given it an abundance of diverse aquatic resources, which has made Cebu home to the country’s shell-craft industry. From its humble beginnings with puka shells in the 1980s, Cebu’s seashell handicraft has since evolved to today’s innovative designs used in the fashion, furniture, and home decor industries that are in demand all around the world.
But this steady rise in demand has taken a toll on our seas. Overfishing and illegal fishing have since become serious problems, resulting in many seashell species being declared threatened or endangered.
In an effort to counter these problems, SUSANNE VERALLO pieces make use of shell offcuts and overruns salvaged from other shell-craft companies. By doing so, we hope to raise environmental awareness and enhance the value of this precious yet limited natural resource.
Below: Abalone (left) and Mother-of-pearl (right) offcuts reclaimed from various fashion and furniture companies.
Craftsmanship is at the heart of our story. We work closely with Cebuano artisans to create our pieces and at the same time help support their livelihood. These master craftsmen have worked with shell for decades, perfecting their skills and mastering the craft.
All our jewelry are individually crafted by hand using traditional techniques, with meticulous attention to detail. The process of shell selection and cleaning, polishing, carving, and inlaying may take up to a week to complete a single piece! The result is a unique and beautifully inlaid piece of jewelry that helps support our artisans and continues to preserve a truly Cebuano craft.
To preserve the value of our artisans' intricate workmanship, our jewelry are produced in strictly limited numbers, making each design truly limited edition.
Here's a look at how our jewelry inlay is crafted: