Primitive Technique Pipestone Pendant + Ancestral Puebloan Stone Work Technique + Red Argillite, Juniper Seed, Bronze + All Handmade + Hand Woven Linen Necklace + Red Desert + Ancient Modern

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Primitive Technique Pipestone Pendant + Ancestral Puebloan Stone Work Technique + Red Argillite, Juniper Seed, Bronze + All Handmade + Hand Woven Linen Necklace + Red Desert + Ancient Modern

290.00

A contemporary interpretation, this necklace incorporates ancient Southwestern materials and techniques

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:: Tranquil Earth ::

I have returned to making pieces using the techniques that the Ancestral Pueblo people--the Anasazi--used to create their jewelry over a thousand years ago in the Southwest.  This is a very pure process, contemplative, time-consuming, and hard on the muscles as it involves many hours of grinding, drilling and polishing by hand.  But I love it and return to it every year or so.  

This necklace is a very contemporary design, a style that seems timeless to me as it balances a mix of raw and structured form.  Pipestone or red argillite is a soft siltstone, easily worked and with a very gentle energy.  It was a material frequently used by the Ancestral Pueblo people and other ancient peoples of the Southwest; this piece is from Utah (or possibly Arizona).  I have worked it into a long, tapered form that was left raw on one side.  First it was cut from a larger piece with a sharp flint blade, then shaped and refined on blocks of sandstone from the Mesa Verde region.  It was drilled with chert hand drills that I knapped myself, plus one that was knapped by a friend of mine.  The polishing was done on deer hide and cotton cloth, and it has a silken-smooth matte surface that is very pleasing, a real touchstone.  As the surface was refined, a beautiful inclusion revealed itself on one face; tiny metallic black specks surrounded by a golden bloom.  I think these may be magnesium, but am not sure, but I love the way they glint when they catch the light.  Creating this pendant was a full day's work of constant grinding and polishing.

I wove a cord for this pendant with fine natural linen fiber.  Linen was in limited use in the West in precontact times but not here; instead yucca or dogbane cordage would have been used, but I have not yet refined my skills to the point where I can make a cord that does not itch, so I have used linen instead.  This cord is wonderfully soft, and I kept it a bit shorter than most of my handwoven cords because the pendant is a softer stone.  

Up on the sides of the cord I have woven in juniper seed beads and a single handmade bead of bronze.  Juniper seeds were frequently worn by the Ancestrals.  They were left on anthills and the ants ate the kernels out of the seeds, hollowing them out very neatly on one end.  It only remained to grind and perforate the other end to make a bead.  The bronze of course was not used in ancient times here, but I thought it got along very well with the other elements.  This bead was made with bronze metal clay, simply shaped into an elongate triangular bead, kiln-fired, and only very lightly refined to preserve the ceramic-like surface.

This is a necklace is a calming presence that connects one quietly to the sacredness in the landscape, to the high desert, and to the people who lived in it so long ago.  

SIZE:  The argillite pendant measures 3", or 75 mm, in length.  The necklace with pendant measures 18 1/4" or 46.3 cm, from the back of your neck to the end of the pendant when worn.

CARE:   Avoid impacts to the argillite; layering this one is not recommended.  The entire piece may be rinsed to clean, and blotted dry with a soft towel.  You may also briefly soak the linen cord in Eucalan or another gentle detergent for delicate fabrics, but do not scrub.  Spot cleaning is also an option if necessary.  

PRESENTATION:  Tranquil Earth will come to you beautifully giftwrapped.  See my shop policies below for details.

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