The raw material from which BLANC BIJOU is created is a natural crystal called fluorite. Originally discovered in Britain, fluorite was once prized as a precious stone, owing to its translucent beauty and mysterious properties. Trace components within the crystal lend fluorite a mysterious cast; when irradiated with ultraviolet light, it fluoresces with a mysterious lavender glow. It is from this fluorescent property that fluorite derives its name.
Using a sophisticated chemical technique, fluorite can be specially reacted to form granules of a special material a few millimeters in diameter. These granules are compressed uniformly to form blocks and fired in a kiln to produce blocks of the purest white. After surface polishing to bring out its alluring luster, BLANC BIJOU, with its signature gentle glow, is complete.
Modeling BLANC BIJOU requires superior craftsmanship. Unlike plastics or metals, BLANC BIJOU cannot be poured into molds for mass production of identical goods. Expertise honed in a variety of scientific fields is required. Each block of BLANC BIJOU is painstakingly sculpted using high-precision machinery and finished by the hands of seasoned artisans.
The most important environmental conditions for working with BLANC BIJOU are an exacting level of super-cleanliness, to prevent the inclusion of impurities, and precise temperature control, to prevent warping of the material’s dimensions. Fortunately, Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, where NiKKi Fron conducts production and finishing of BLANC BIJOU, is surrounded on all sides by mountains, from which clear streams flow. This location, blessed by clear air and clean, fresh water, provides the ideal site for working with this unique material. The resulting BLANC BIJOU is inimitable, which is why NiKKi Fron, though the home place is in Paris, also traces its origins to Nagano.
Next page: Properties
1. Raw Material
The raw material from which BLANC BIJOU is created is a rare and beautiful natural crystal called fluorite. In earlier times it was prized as a precious stone.
Fluorite is specially reacted using a unique chemical process to extract granules a few millimeters in diameter.
The granules are compressed in a uniform manner to increase their density, forming blocks.
The blocks are fired at temperatures of 370–380°C, sometimes for days at a time, to create blocks of pure and eternal white.
5. Surface polishing
The surface is polished to an original texture, to foster the gentle, luxurious look and feel unique to BLANC BIJOU.
Using machinery devised with expertise from the most advanced industries, the white blocks are painstakingly sculpted.
Finishing of BLANC BIJOU requires the hands of highly skilled artisans. The final work, with its eternal glow of purest white, is complete.
Video : Manufacturing process