Shells are the buttons’ accomplices, their best friends. The mother-of-pearl that lines the inside of the shells is the button maker’s material of choice. The seashell that most commonly produces mother-of-pearl is the pearl oyster that makes the immaculate white nacre, used for the daywear buttons, and grey nacre for the eveningwear buttons. Equally the burgau produces a grey nacre, the troca a sandy beige hue and the clam shell (often referred to in vernacular French as la clovisse) also bears mother-of-pearl.
Colour perishes. Hair turns greys and dyes fade. Colour, in its earliest definition, is described as a transitory state. Colour comes from the Latin color, branching from the verb group celare, meaning to conceal and to withhold. Colour blocks and covers any given surface. Colour is a second skin. As with all matter, colour is subject to the toll of time.
We conceive colour as fractions of light measured in wavelengths, the sensation of a coloured effect transmitted from the eye to the brain.
Colour is also and above all cultural. For some, colour is defined using a colour chart with shades of red and blue that mark out the boundaries of our comprehension. In other cultures, colours are classified through their qualities: dry or humid, smooth or coarse, tender or limp.
So many factors affect and designate colour.