22 July 2009

A Lapidary Day

I spent a good part of the day at the Two Cranes lapidary workshop today, where I expanded my skillset to include use of the lapidary saw and diamond-bit drill. I guess if I can use a table saw (YEAH I rock... but my 68-year-old mom who taught me rocks even more), a lapidary saw isn't much of a stretch, and in fact it was quite simple. Then I moved to the grinding wheels for shaping the pieces I'd cut; the hardness of the gemstones I was working with (pictured above; I'll detail them in a moment) varied quite widely, so some needed a good bit of time on the roughest wheel whereas others just needed a quick zip there to take off edges before moving to the next two wheels.

So, what I worked on today, from left: a repair on an agate pillar whose top had broken off; next row (top to bottom): a stunning red piece of Sonora Sunrise, and a piece of fossil coral that had lost an edge and needed reshaping to a single-hole pendant; next row: lepidolite, Calico Lake onyx (the tiny piece, much more interesting than this lame camera-phone pic shows), and Bacamite (the big piece on the bottom, a chrysocolla-cuprite blend from the local Kelly mine area); and green aventurine (the hardest to grind). (The stone way on the right is a piece of turquoise in matrix that keeps breaking apart as I work it, so I'll let that one go.) The next step on these will be sanding, to remove scratches and prepare for final polish. I have eight or so other stones at the sanding/polishing stage also and hope to finish everything in two weeks (finding a full day for anything is nearly impossible, but this is SO worth it!). I love how meditative lapidary is, and of course Conne and Dean are wonderful company.

Tomorrow: mosaics! A local friend *gave* me a huge load of glass left over from her stained glass work, which she has given up due to chronic illness. Thank you so much, Aleta; you have no idea (well, you probably do!) how much it means for me to be able to jump into this new venture with both feet. So a New Moon Gallery sign will surely begin taking shape this weekend... all these wonderful things in my life. I am SO grateful.

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