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Consider the Pearl...

  • Shibumi Gallery 1402 5th Street Berkeley CA 94710 USA (map)
April Higashi,  Raku Pearl Necklace, Tahitian pearls, silver,  Kate Eickelberg,  Fireball Pearl Drop Earrings, 14k white gold, Megan Mcgaffigan , Boston Marriage I, silver, tintype, mississippi river pearls ,       Niki Uleha,  Pearl Half Sphere Posts, 18k gold.

April Higashi, Raku Pearl Necklace, Tahitian pearls, silver, Kate Eickelberg, Fireball Pearl Drop Earrings, 14k white gold,Megan Mcgaffigan, Boston Marriage I, silver, tintype, mississippi river pearlsNiki Uleha, Pearl Half Sphere Posts, 18k gold.

Consider the Pearl...


Claudia Alleyne

Kate Eickelberg

April Higashi

Megan McGaffigan

Niki Ulehla

Kiwon Wang


Visual Art

Amy Tavern


Tahitian and South Sea Pearls

Black Market Pearls

September 14 - October 21, 2018

Artists Reception & Opening: September 15, 5-8pm

wine and light bites!

SHIBUMI GALLERY presents Consider the Pearl, 14 Sep – 21 Oct, 2018

Food writer MFK Fisher’s book Consider the Oyster is a loving tribute to these mollusks in which she includes a ‘recipe’ for making Japanese pearls. Ingredients required, amongst other things, include: one healthy spat, one mature oyster, an unnamable wound-astringent and a diving girl. Prep time: ten years with seven years close supervision and “about a one in twenty chance of owning a marketable pearl.”

With Fisher’s witty recipe illuminating the considerable time, labor and risks involved in making a pearl, it’s no wonder they are revered worldwide. These beautiful curiosities have always held a mysterious allure for both jewelers and wearers owing to the surface’s subtle glow from the nacre - the crystalline substance that creates its unique iridescent visual effect. 

Consider the Pearl features six jewelers and a visual artist who, from different perspectives, explore the use of pearls in their work. April Higashi creates pieces that accent the organic nature of the pearl’s surface. Niki Ulehla uses cross-sections of pearls in her work revealing their inner nuclei and intricate layers. Kate Eickelberg contrasts the soft, natural beauty of pearls with industrial materials and architectural precision. Megan McGaffigan creates intimate and enigmatic pieces by interlacing tintypes with pearls. And visual artist Amy Tavern layers photographs and drawings with pearls that reference her interest in landscapes, both physical and emotional, and the ocean.

Along with the work of these and other artists, the gallery will feature Fred Sagues, owner of Black Market Pearls, a dealer from Tahiti and Asia who will be showing a selection of his gorgeous Tahitian and South Sea Pearls, both single loose pearls as well as strands. Fred will share his knowledge and his collection of pearls will be available to purchase for new commissions or future projects.

With Consider the Pearl, Shibumi will show how pearls can transcend the typical and be worn in a nontraditional manner. Feel free to bring in pearls you own that you’d like to transform into a contemporary showpiece or an everyday wearable statement. 

Please join us for the opening and artists' reception with wine and light bites, September 15, 5-8pm. 

Fred from Black Market Pearls will be in the gallery this Saturday 3 - 8pm.  Please come see his beautiful collection of pearls and hear more about the pearl farming.

Additionally, we will be offering wholesale appointments to other jewelers and artists on September 14, 11-3pm.  Please email if you’d like to come.

Amy Tavern, The Sea is Always the Same, digital print.

Amy Tavern, The Sea is Always the Same, digital print.

Kiwon Wang,  Poetry is Hidden Jewel, antique Korean poetry, fresh water pearls, thread, silver .

Kiwon Wang, Poetry is Hidden Jewel, antique Korean poetry, fresh water pearls, thread, silver.