The Amazing World of Alabaster


JH LIGHTING, INC. Is proud to design lighting products in alabaster.

Alabaster is a mineral product of two fine masters, father Time and mother Earth. It requires both to achieve the fine grain of its smooth white translucent stone. Working the alabaster quarries is a laborious, unpredictable job for most suppliers, but the perseverance of their people enable till-lorries to arrive at the door of their factories with precious loads of large blocks of stone.

Alabaster is quarried either in open pits or underground. In open pits, veins of alabaster are found 12 to 20 feet below the surface under a layer of shale which can be two or three feet deep. The rocks have an average height of 16-20 inches in a diameter of two to three feet. Rarely, these rocks exceed these sizes.

Alabaster is ageless. It is found through the history of Sumer, Babylon, and Assyria. Deposits of alabaster are found in countries like Algeria, England, United States, Belgium, India, Turkey, Spain, Cyprus, and Italy, where alabaster is sometimes called the marble of Florence.

The British Museum is home to a three foot carved vase with relief, from the period 3500-3000 B.C., found in a temple at Warka (the Biblical Erech). Also at this museum is a triple oil lamp in the form of the three lotus flowers. This Egyptian masterpiece was found in 1922, in the Tomb of Tutankhamun, in the period 1356 B.C.

From the day the stones are harvested until the moment we ship the product, over six months will have elapsed. This is why alabaster is in high demand and waiting an average 6-12 weeks to fill an order is well understood by most of our clients.

Alabaster, by nature, is a soft stone. It is handled with extreme care as it is rotated between the saw, the lathe, the cutter, and the sanding machines for sawing, turning and sanding. This gypsum type of rock bruises easily and is most suitable for works that will be protected from the weather. The hardness of the stone ranges from 2.2 to 2.7 on the Mohs scale, which makes the rock possible to be sawed in flat round pancakes of different diameter and thickness. Then, it goes to the finishing and the design departments where a master craftsman is selected to work on specific pieces. This preparation process sometimes ends with a tint that accomplishes an array of colors in the stone and makes the veins running through the stone to stand out, adding to its rare natural beauty. At the end, the stone is lacquered to seal the pores of the stones. To clean your alabaster fixture, use only a soft dry cloth.

Thank you for your interest in our fine line of lighting products in alabaster,