Fix It Week: Reshaping a Tortoise Shell Bracelet

Tortoise shell Fix

I have a few Tortoise Shell jewellery pieces. The real stuff, from before it was banned in 1973.Like most organic materials, tortoise shell can shrink with age or by being stored in a dry environment, which means that many of the bangles that I can’t wear many of the pieces that I own.

One of the reasons tortoise shell was so popular back in the day was because it is easily made workable by heating. So I decided to try and reshape a curled up bangle by boiling it in water and then carefully stretching it over a frame made of cardboard tubes. For this test, I used the thickest cuff I have — a cut out number, probably from Polynesia — to lessen the chances of it breaking. To keep it supple, I also rubbed it with some oil.

tortoise shell cut out cuff bracelet

And here it is on my wrist. It’s still a little snug so I will probably repeat the process, going slowly every step of the way so as not to snap the bracelet in two.