Image Gloss

September 7th, 2009

From ‘A Song for Occupations”

…The work and tools of the rigger, grappler, sail-maker, block-maker,

of gutta-percha, papier-mache, colors, brushes, brush-making,

glazier’s implements…

What is Gutta Percha?


Gutta percha is a plant, native to tropical areas like Southeast Asia.  In the 1850’s, it was used in the Western world mainly to carve furniture and jewelry.  Established in 1847, the Gutta Percha Company set a standard for ornately carved furniture which were shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851.


Gutta percha was also commonly used to make bead and jewelry.  Because of its dark color, many of the pieces were called, “Mourning Beads,” which were often worn by widows.


One Response to “Image Gloss”

  1. Avatar of erinm erinm on September 7, 2009 5:23 pm

    This was really cool Courtney! I was wondering what that was! And it’s interesting that it had so many uses! I like the necklace.

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