The Zebra Stone and Printstone have arrived from Australia
Ever since we undertook a commission just over a year ago, we have been looking for some good Zebra Stone for ourselves, and we finally found it a little while ago. At the same time that we found the Zebra Stone we were also introduced to Printstone, another one we had never heard of or seen before, fortunately both of these are from the same supplier, so we ordered some of each from him.
It arrived last week, we were expecting it to take 6 weeks at least but it arrived in just over 3 weeks, must have been a very fast ship because it came by sea!
As I said above we were asked by a client to create 3 pendants for her, she supplied the Zebra Stone and to be honest I worried about working with it mainly because it wasn’t my rock and if I messed up it would be hard to replace it, if you are interested you can read more about this through this link:
Anyway I digress, here are some pictures of the new arrivals
Zebra Stone Rough
Visitors to the Kimberley Region of Western Australia leave with memories of a formidable, rugged landscape – an ancient land holding many mysteries and well kept secrets.
Some 600 million years ago when the only life on earth was simple aquatic organisms and Australia was still part of the super-continent Gondwanaland, layers of a striking red and while banded stone were formed near where Kununurra is today. The sparsely distributed seams of Zebra Stone are the only known deposits of this rare and beautiful material.
Zebra Stone is an indurated siltstone, altered from its original sedimentary form by unknown geological and chemical processes. It was first documented in 1924 following its discovery close to the Durack homestead on the Argyle pastoral lease.
Only a small portion of the total deposits remained above water following the construction of Lake Argyle in 1972. Reserves are measured in kilos rather than tonnes, with some patterns yielding only a few kilos. Seams are tightly enclosed in shale, varying in width from 25mm to 400mm. The regularly curved bands and rods disappear and reoccur at intervals within the seam, making recovery expensive and tedious.
The curved banding of red and white occurs at nearly right angles to the bedding plane. Analysis of samples has disclosed an extraordinary number and range of elements, including rare earths, adding to its wonder and contributing to its unique texture and qualities.
Although it is compact and fine grained Zebra Stone is soft enough to cut and carve with hand tools, lending itself to finishing with fine wet and dry emery paper. Coating with a clear spray-on sealer, either satin or gloss, avoids smudging of the iron oxides in the material. (Description courtesy of Aradon. PTY Ltd)
Printstone is found in the Hamersley Ranges near the iron ore mining town of Tom Price in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
It occurs in the “Mount McRae Shale” within the Hamersley Basin. Age is approx. 2000 Ma.
Some studies indicate that the unusual markings possibly have stromatolitic origins, some even going so far as naming it as “Kinneyia Simulans”.
Another theory suggests they are Liesegang rings. Banded minerals and rocks, such as Printstone, were formed or rearranged by long-lasting processes of transport, chemical reaction and precipitation or crystallization. Due to this range of processes, a great variety of textures can occur. (Description courtesy of Aradon. PTY Ltd)
My next job is to slab it all into 10mm slabs, this will be done by hand with a hacksaw as I don’t want the coolant from my diamond saw to get soaked into the stone and ruin it.