Current Exhibit

Faces of Eternity

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Mr. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Skull designed, carved and gifted by Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio. Peanut wood is a popular carving material, but few know of the fascinating way in which it formed. Peanut wood’s journey began more than 65 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, when rivers carried pine driftwood out to sea. Clams then attached themselves to and fed on the wood. The boreholes the clams made became filled in with white clay, creating peanut-shaped forms. Over the millennia, silica replaced the wood, transforming the driftwood into petrified wood. The contrast of white fossilised clay with dark silica creates the unique pattern that you can see now. This peanut wood skull Mr. Peanut Butter and Chocolate sits on a gold vermeil “spine” and an obsidian base.

Peruvian artist Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio was inspired by the juxtaposition of human mortality and the timelessness of gemstones as he created “Faces of Eternity”, a collection of hand-carved gem skulls. The 15 strikingly lifelike sculptures on display feature a variety of gem materials, including peanut wood agate, labradorite, soap jasper and pink opal with silver and gold vermeil. The complete 26-piece collection was designed and carved over a one-year period.

A view of the Rotunda entrance of the GIA Museum in Carlsbad.

Creating a Face for Eternity

Listening to the Stone