Zebra Rock


Zebra Rock

Recently I had a conversation with a couple I met at one of my exhibitions about Zebra Rock – they had some and wondered if I could carve it.  I hadn’t heard of the stone before, so was intrigued to find out more.

A few small pieces were sent to me in the post to see what my chisels would make of it.  It is very fine grained, resembling polishable limestone, serpentine or marble.  The colouring is extraordinary.

Carving Zebra Stone

This distinctive reddish-brown and white banded sedimentary siltstone from the east Kimberley of Western Australia is called Zebra Rock or Zebra Stone.  Essentially it is made up of small particles of quartz and sericite (fine-grained white mica), and also contains the minerals kaolinite, dickite and alunite.

The colour banding of zebra rock, which is about 670 million years old, is probably formed by the rhythmic precipitation of iron oxide (hematite) rich bands during the alteration of the rock by percolating fluids (fluids migrating through the rock).

You can see how it has become known as Zebra Stone.

I’ve done a little test to work one of these pieces and it shapes beautifully with hand tools and takes a lovely polish.  Now to carving a chunk for real.

Zebra stone





  1. Comment by Ellen Abbott:

    and what would you carve with it?

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      These slices are limiting Ellen, as they are so thin, so it will be outline type shapes, or relief carved – just tiny things

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