Portable Petroglyph – Micro Pecking Technique, Part 2

by Stephen Lee.
(N. Pitcher, New York USA)


The creation of Stephen Lee’s bear paw pendant on African Wonderstone, using his micro pecking technique.

In Micro Pecking Technique, Part 1 we discussed some background info on the origins and making of my Petroglyph Pendants.

Here in Part 2 we’ll take a look at the actual process of going from raw pendant blank stone to completed pendant.

When making a pendant I choose a design and then prepare a pendant blank by grinding (hand cranked grinder), rasping, and sanding it to its near final shape and finish.

Hacksaw with carbide grit blade for cutting pendant blanks from block of stone:

The creation of Stephen Lee's bear paw pendant on African Wonderstone, using his micro pecking technique.

Below: Roughed out pendant blanks:

  • Top row – Green Soapstone
  • Middle row – African Wonderstone
  • Bottom row – Catlinite:


Hand cranked grinder for rough shaping pendant blanks:


Rasp and coarse sanding belt for further shaping of pendant blank:


Soapstone anvil block & pendant blank, engraver, and pecking tool:


I then either pencil on the design freehand or trace it on with carbon paper:

It is now ready for engraving, waxing, and finally pecking.

All pencil lines engraved; pendant heated and coated with bees wax in preparation for pecking:

Pecking complete and pendant ready to be strung:

All things considered, the pecking technique is quite simple but is a slow and meticulous process that requires much practice to perfect.

It hooked me from the very start and over the last twenty years has provided much satisfaction both in the making of the pendants and watching my skill grow.

Then there’s the satisfaction of those who admire them and give them a home where they’ll be treasured.

Stephen Lee

Older Comments:

by: Rena

I can imagine how your intuition for this art form has grown over the years you’ve practiced it.

I appreciate that every step is done with hand tools and a careful, skilled touch.

It’s been very inspiring to learn how you create your incredible pendants, Stephen. Thank you so much again for sharing your artistry with us!

Eco Friendly Tools
by: Virginia Vivier

With all the high tech stuff we have to deal with every day, it is so amazing to find a true Artist who creates using very simple hand-operated tools.

Your process makes your pieces more authentic and valuable to the owner who knows they were done entirely by hand. No power tools, no sand blasters, no electric grinders, just Stephen Lee carving out each and every niche, one-at-a-time.


An Admirer

Beautiful Work
by: Noreen

Your work is beautiful and I am amazed at what you can do with a few simple tools!

by: Joanne Stow Boyignton

Thanx for sharing this wonderful technique, with just a few hand tools-
They are gorgeous!

by: Gene Lindsey

This looks like tedious work. How long does it take to design and finish a project such as these. I have really enjoyed seeing your process

I bought two of Stephen’s wonderful pendants
by: Rena

. . . and I wear them more than any other necklace I’ve ever owned. They are just incredible in person, and so great to rub your thumb across the so-smooth back and the carved front.

There’s something so elemental about these that I just love. Thank you, Stephen! :o)

Very Clean Nice Work
by: Mambo LaReina

Very Professional, clean, lovely.

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