Our Rock Caymanite showcases local stones

The Cayman Islands National Museum
is hosting a new exhibit showcasing a semi-precious stone, found only in our
islands. While a small piece of Caymanite is permanently on display in the
natural history gallery of the museum, the much larger exhibit, Our Rock, is
running just for a short time.

The exhibit, Our Rock Caymanite, on
until 10 September, features pieces of Caymanite jewellery along with
magnificent sculptures made from the semi-precious stone.

“Members of the National Museum
received a preview of the exhibit and visitors to the exhibit have been giving
it very high ratings and calling it absolutely beautiful and elegant,” said
Doss Solomon, acting director of the National Museum. “It is the first-ever
Caymanite Exhibition for the National Museum,” he added.

Caymanite, which is thought to have
formed between two million and five million years ago after  a series of geological events, ranges in
colours from white, cream, yellow, orange and red to gray and black.

The stone is only found in certain
areas of Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac and is never found in very large

“The children’s gallery gives kids
the opportunity to re-create the geological processes similar to those that led
to the layering of colourful minerals in Caymanite,” Mr. Solomon said.

Working with the stone is extremely
hard, often requiring specialised equipment. In order to gain the brilliant
marble-like finish that many Caymanite pieces have, much time needs to be taken
to sand and polish the finished piece.

Since creating unique Caymanite
pieces can be a very time consuming, most artists who work with the stone end
up learning a lot about it.

Tenson Scott, one of the artists
featured in the exhibit, said, “I’ve been [working with] Caymanite for many,
many years over 40 years, and I think I can say after all of these years it is
a beautiful stone as we all can see, and a beautiful stone to work with, especially
with the colours.”

“[The colours] don’t run straight
and are always different,” he added.

Caymanite is most often used to
create jewellery, ornaments and sculptures.

The other artists featured in the
exhibit, who have all worked with the stone for a number of years, are Jose
Inga, Launa Green, Horacio Esteban and Mary Boxall.

“Caymanite is something that the
public should know about. Not just people using it. I have found some remarkable
pieces and some remarkable things within the pieces,” said Mr. Scott.

While the pieces in the exhibit are
not for sale, visitors can find other Caymanite works on sale at the National
Museum gift shop. The exhibit is open from 9am – 4.30pm Monday through Friday.


Under the Coconut Tree, by Jose Inga, is one of the stunning Caymanite sculptures featured at the Cayman Islands National Museum in the Our Rock Caymanite exhibtion.
Photo:Eugene Bonthuys

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