Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Dragons of the East

Since my mind is still on dragons, I thought I'd show you this pendant from my stash tonight. I purchased it from a woman who had recently been to the jade market in Hong Kong. I am always interested in acquiring new carved stone pendants, and I thought this particular design of a dragon biting its own tail was very attractive. Unfortunately, the piece is about the size of a small coaster, so it's a little big to be used to hang around the neck. I don't know - maybe I'll make a breastplate or something with it one of these days.

The last time I visited Hong Kong, it was still a British colony. I remember quite distinctly visiting both the famed bird market (which I believe has closed down since then?) and the jade market, and eating shumai dumplings to the point that I really couldn't face Chinese food at all for some time after that trip. Back then, in the mid-90s, I was not making any jewelry, not even simple stringing projects, so all I took away from the jade market were a few cheap-o trinkets. It makes me gnash my teeth every time I think about it. What a wasted opportunity! What was I thinking? I've been dying to visit the jade market or the large bead market in Seoul, Korea. However, the thought of being on a plane with the Short One for 16 hours usually makes me come to my senses. One of these days, we will visit Korea to introduce the SO to his extended family, and I will be going with a very large shopping list.

Anyway, the jade market is a huge, huge multi-dealer market selling everything from true, fine jade (or at least this is what the dealers represented - I was not educated enough about jade to be able to tell by looking at the pieces) to less expensive trinkets made from jade-colored (eg, serpentine) stone. The lady I purchased this from couldn't identify the stone from which this dragon was carved. It is a very pale green color, so I am wondering if it's a type of serpentine, but this is just a guess on my part. Certainly, for the price she must have paid for it, it can't be jadeite or nephrite. So, until I figure out what I can do with it, jewelry-wise, I have a nice, little doodad to provide a little dragon-inspiration.

Meanwhile, we had heavy rains yesterday and the, ugh, sewer is backing up again through the basement drain. Our neighbor is having problems, too, so we are starting to wonder if this is more of a city problem. Our nice plumber, with whom I have lately been spending more time with than the Husband, will be arriving at the crack of dawn tomorrow to try and figure out what happened. Again. Sigh.

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

Ruth Ann said...

Melissa, when we visited China and Hong Kong we were told by a master jade carver that you could tell jade from similarly colored things by the fact that jade is cold. It really didn't help us much because it was snowing - in late May!

Like you, I wasn't beading at that time and passed up some wonderful opportunities. Now that I make jewelry, I can't afford to travel - too much money spent on beading supplies!

Ruth Ann