Isn't the pendant above gorgeous?  It is not polymer clay nor is it an agate gemstone despite the beautiful stripe pattern.   The vintage pendant from the Channel Islands in the UK features agateware. It's sold by RitazRetro

Agateware is a pottery technique clearly inspired by true agates.  The marbling effect is achieved by mixing usually two colors of clay.  This is an ancient technique - the earliest pieces such as this one are from the Tang dynasty in China ( AD618 -907). 

Agateware is sometimes called solid agate to differentiate it from surface marbling. Agateware became popular among famous Stoke-on-Trent potters in the 18th century after Thomas Wedgwood introduced it to Britain. 

Watch how US potter, Michelle Erickson, recreated an 18th century Staffordshire agateware teapot from the Victoria and Albert Museum's Collection. She was the V and A's ceramics resident from July to September  2012. The only way to learn about the techniques used in the past is to recreate it in the present. She uses molds to press the marbled clay into shape. 

Her skill is amazing to watch in action.  This gives you a whole new appreciation for ceramic artists. And this might be inspiration for polymer clay and ceramic jewelry artisans. 

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM