Alexandra SZabo

April 15th, 2024

Major: Psychology

Genre/Medium: Coulter pinecone, Resin display, stainless steel jewelry and acrylic paint.

About the work: The Eternity project almost took me an eternity to start it. It’s something I have been eager to try for a long time, but I was hesitant because I knew it was an extremely challenging and time-consuming job that requires using machinery I haven’t used before.

The material I use comes from Coulter pines. They were one of the many surprising and beautiful species that caught my attention when visiting California for the first time. Whilst the trees are not so huge, the cones are. I instantly saw our first Christmas wreath in them. I collected a bag full of these cones and worked on a wreath for a couple of days. I noticed that the scales are so large and wide, nicely bent; looked good for jewelry making.

I tried to find ideas online, but nothing matched my imagination. I made four drawings to see what options would be best to use as earrings and chose the big loop. This shape was able to accommodate all the scales (cone leaves) just exactly the way I had them in mind. I used pliers to pull the scales from the cones, then picked the ones with the length needed and started to cut them and send them down, using a Dremel. My cat, Pudding, was great help, she happened to be interested in everything I did, from the loud and dirty sanding process to the detailed finishing touches with paint and sealers.

According to, Native American tribes use pinecones as food supplements, symbols, jewelry, and for basketry and drum making. I adore their traditions and I wanted to connect high tech science with the roots of our ancestors, to honor this relationship. This is why I chose the distinctive Psyche colors to put on natural pinecone scales.

The name, Eternity comes from the Mars rover names. I thought those are so powerful, suggesting that they even have a personality. Perseverance, Opportunity and Curiosity are my personal favorites. This artwork definitely has a personality, and it will be missed, once she goes on her journey around the US to represent the Psyche Mission.

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Date Added: 04-15-2024
Credit: Alexandra Szabo

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