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Zebra Rock

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Zebra rock is one of those amazing creations of Mother Earth for which no one has an explanation. Yes its a sedimentary rock but to date no satisfactory explanation has been given for its unique patterning and layers. Various estimates of its age place it at at least 500 million years old with some estimates into the billions of years. This zebra rock comes from the Kununurra district in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia and is unique to this area, it is not found anywhere else in the world (that I am aware of). This land is ancient.

It is a distinctly reddish-brown and creamy-white sedimentary silted rock with various shades in between. It is primarily comprised of fine grains of quartz and 'sericite' (fine-grained white mica). The reddish-brown colouration is due to iron-oxide.

This material is renown for its 'zebra' like patterning (hence its name) and the variety is really quite astounding. There is the classic zebra rock that has the roundish 'blob' like markings (#z2), and a more layered material known as 'Okapi' (#z3). And of course there are combinations of the two (#z1).

The grain of zebra rock ranges from an extremely fine grain, almost porcelain, through to a fairly course grain. This is all probably to do with how the sediment as settled. Take a handful of dirt and drop it into a clear jar of water and the heavier course material sinks first and gradually the finer material settles on top. The hardness can vary as well and it seems that the finer the grain the harder it is, but not always.

Zebra rock, particularly the fine grain material, reminds me alot of 'pipestone' (catlinite) from Minnesota. It is very similar in nature and can be carved and worked in the same way. It can be worked with hand tools such as a hacksaw, files and sandpaper (though it might require some elbow grease). Like pipestone it also comes in a variety of hardnesses.

Zebra rock is perfect for carving!

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
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Stone : Zebra Rock
Item : #z1
Origin : Kimberley Region, Western Australia
Weight : approx 3.8 kg
Price : NOT FOR SALE

Comments : This superb block of zebra rock has a very fine grain and is quite hard. This is top grade material and perfect for carving. The size would lend itself to one large carving however you can certainly slice and dice it if you wish into smaller pieces for smaller carvings and work. If you did want to slice it up you would probably need to use a proper trim saw as it would be hard going using a hand hacksaw. If you are familiar 'pipestone' carvings and pipes from Minnesota then this would be the material you want to work with.

This is exceptional material and something quite special. It has been selected by myself for its asethetics and fine grain.

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA

 

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
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Stone : Zebra Rock
Item : #z2
Origin : Kimberley Region, Western Australia
Weight : approx 3.8 kg
Price : NOT FOR SALE

Comments : A fantastic block of zebra rock showing the classic blob patterns. You have to ask yourself how in world does Mother Nature do it. How are these patterns created??? They are beautiful and simple but so intriguing and fascinating.

This piece has a slightly coarser grain then #z1 but not by much, its still quite fine. It is ideal for carving and would suit a large single work. A very very nice piece of zebra rock.

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA

 

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
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Stone : 'Okapi' Zebra Rock
Item : #z3
Origin : Kimberley Region, Western Australia
Weight : approx 5 kg
Price : NOT FOR SALE

Comments : A block of top quality 'Okapi' zebra rock with a fine grain. This material exhibits a layered pattern and being a large block it would be perfect for a single work. If you did want to slice it up it would be perfect for slabs which you could turn into alot of pendants. If you are familiar with the pendant carvings of New Zealand greenstone (Toki, Adze, etc), this material would be well suited for that. There are ALOT of pendants in this block, alot of material to work with.

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA

 

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
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Stone : Zebra Rock
Item : #z4
Origin : Kimberley Region, Western Australia
Weight : approx 4 kg
Price : NOT FOR SALE

Comments : Now just look at the patterning on this slab of zebra rock. Isn't it just amazing... blobs of reddish-brown (iron oxide) in a nice bed of cream. This piece is a large plate slab and is about an inch thick. Now this is something special and really needs an artist's eye to bring out the best of the patterns and do it justice. The pipes that are carved from Minnesota pipestone spring to mind as it would be an ideal thickness for this sort of work (WOW, just imagine for a moment what they'd look like!), as well as pendants. There is alot of material here to work with and the pieces created from this plate would be special indeed. A very unique piece.

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA

 

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
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Stone : 'Okapi' Zebra Rock
Item : #z5
Origin : Kimberley Region, Western Australia
Weight : approx 2.6 kg
Price : NOT FOR SALE

Comments : A fine plate of 'okapi' zebra rock. From the side this piece looks like a book (hmmm, now there's an idea for a carving) and would be well suited for pendants or the like. It is about an inch thick and you can see the nicely layered patterns and it also has a fine grain. Three sides of this plate have already been cut with a trim saw.

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA

 

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zoom

Stone : Zebra Rock
Item : #z6
Origin : Kimberley Region, Western Australia
Weight : approx ? kg (I scrubbed off the weight I wrote in lead pencil when I was cleaning it and I haven't had a chance to weight it since. From memory its around 600-700 gms)
Price : NOT FOR SALE

Comments : I couldn't resist this piece when I saw it, I love it cool patterns. I think this would make a really great single carving and being a courser grain and softer, it would be ideal for the beginning carver. This piece would be good to learn with and experiment on first. Or don't carve it at all... keep it as it is for its groovy look and charm.

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA

 

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zoom

Stone : Zebra Rock
Item : #z7
Origin : Kimberley Region, Western Australia
Weight : approx ? kg (I scrubbed off the weight I wrote in lead pencil when I was cleaning it and I haven't had a chance to weight it since. From memory its around 300 gms)
Price : NOT FOR SALE

Comments : A nice piece of zebra rock that would be good for the beginning carver. It is a little blocky piece with a fairly coarse grain that can be easily carved by hand using a file and sandpaper.

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA

 

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zoom

Stone : Zebra Rock
Item : #z8
Origin : Kimberley Region, Western Australia
Weight : Mixed
Price : NOT FOR SALE

Comments : Still to come... haven't had a chance to write up the details.

Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA
Zebra Rock, Kimberley Region, WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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