Picture Jasper Pendant

September 22, 2007

picture jasper pendant

pomegranate dyed hemp bag

Here’s my new picture jasper pendant, strung on hemp cord with copper tubes and African cast-glass beads.  The bag is made of two different pomegranate-dyed hemp/cotton fabrics, hemp drawstrings, silk tassels, padded with cotton batting.  The stone is a volcanic pebble from Lake Superior.

Picture jasper comes in many varieties, and each locality has its own characteristic colors and patterns.  I’ve made a lot of picture jasper jewelry, including a couple of pieces that I wear all the time.  Most of them don’t appear on my website (though a photo gallery of the stones I’ve used might be pretty).  I am very picky about the patterns, and have been known to pass up an entire room full of fancy cabochons at the Tucson gem show, then come home and buy an inexpensive stone on ebay.  But I usually find one or two stones each year at the show.  The shape of the stone doesn’t matter, as long as it’s well cut, and the colors are of secondary importance to the pattern – the scene has to be geologically convincing, emotionally compelling, and (ideally) remind me of somewhere I’ve been.

The stone in this pendant is quite large, about two inches long.  It won’t be for sale, since the polish on the stone is uneven and less glossy than the high-grade material that I usually use.  This is a common problem with picture jasper, since it is weathering, fractures, and increased porosity in the stone that allow water to deposit the colorful iron oxides.  But the scene reminds me of the waves and shifting sand at the Cape Hatteras Point, and the shape of the stone accentuates this effect, though it’s awkward to set, as the photo shows. 

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4 Responses to “Picture Jasper Pendant”

  1. sherri said

    Your work is amazing…did you do the little embrodery on the bag too?

  2. judithornot said

    Looking at it, I can almost hear the waves. 🙂

  3. Karin said

    I’ve been thinking about what you wrote about chlorophyll and hemoglobin being similar. I read that the traditional colors in what the yin/yang symbol is represented are not white/black, but green/red.

  4. Debbie said

    Having seen the stone, necklace and bag, I can say they are even more beautiful in person!

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