This material is difficult to photograph. The resulting slides are more blue than green and the iridescence of this material is stunning. Scroll this page to see a better viewing of Glistening Caribbean in an actual finished bow.
Our imitation opal is the highest grade imitation opal in the marketplace today. This is a 80% silica and 20% resin material. These full 1.0 millimeter thick plates are used to make decorative slides and eyes for violin and cello bows. This material has recently garnered interest due to its attention-grabbing colors and reflective properties; this material is especially brilliant under stage lighting. Unlike traditional materials such as awabi, abalone, or mother of pearl, Bowworks imitation opal has the added benefit of being impervious to wear from a player’s sweat and constant handling. Measuring 4.0 on the Mohs hardness scale this material simply will not wear out!
Here are some working tips from Rodney and Katherine Mohr, Bow Making & Restoration Instructors at www.LearningTradeSecrets.com:
Working imitation opal is similar to working with shell, however, it can be harder on tools. Diamond tools for saw blades and files are highly recommended for cutting and shaping. Saw blades for jeweler’s saws and files are available through both Rio Grande and MSC Industrial Supply. Diamond hones, such as Dia Sharp, are a great tool for shaping and fitting slides and are easily found anywhere sharpening stones are sold. Sandpaper also works well and can be used for shaping and polishing to your desired finish.
Our slide stock is a full millimeter in thickness and each slide is 10mm X 32mm. These are large enough to fashion either a violin or a cello slide from and large enough to make eye stock up to 10mm in diameter. This material takes a very high polish by buffing just like pearl does.
PLASTIC BAGS: Our plastic bags are heavy bags at 3 mil thickness. They are 2.75" wide X 36" length and are clear. These are available in groups of 5 or in packages of 100.Plastic Extra Heavy Duty Bow Bags