Jade Cat Claw

May 18, 2010

Green Cat Claw.  A bluish-green to black mixture of fine-grained nephrite jade and coarse-grained amphibolite with minor serpentine and microscopic magnetite octahedra.  This odd stone comes from Victorville, CA  in the Mojave Desert and is not a typical California jade.  Strictly speaking, the coarser-grained dark material isn’t “jade” at all, though the mineralogy is the same.  Unpredictable and extremely challenging to carve and polish.  The claw is exactly two inches long.  I chose the shape because I wanted to make maximum use of the material and to emphasize the color and grain size differences.  A nice pocket rock!

Jade Cat Claw Carving

Turtle Shell Rattle

May 14, 2010

My New Moon project:  dismantling a couple of older rattles to create a more useful and better-sounding one for mazewalking.  I collected all the pieces in Kentucky about 15 years ago:  a complete young box turtle shell (found on an abandoned railroad track), deer hooves (from a buck found dead in a wooded hollow at Midwinter – I have his antlers too), and hind foot bones from a young female coyote roadkill – she was the model for my “Coyote Uroboros” drawing.  The turtle shell is filled with honey locust beans.  Strung on cotton/silk/linen string.  Makes a nice mix of organic, woodsy hissing/rattling/clicking sounds.

Turtle Shell Rattle