Sunday, July 30, 2017

Lapidary tinkering

A couple of years ago my father gave me a big container of stones that he and his mother had collected on the shores of Lake Superior when he was a child.  They are mostly small round agates that have great banding and after picking through the top layer I pulled out one to try to shape on the JoolTool.  I don't have templates for stone shaping so I'm just playing around with possibilities at this point but I can see some potential in my first attempt.  Maybe another pass with each wheel to make things more uniform and I'll call it done.

It's surprising how much time and grinding it takes to shape material - I never thought it was a simple job but even taking the stone down a couple millimeters is time consuming.  

I also shaped these ammonites to give them flat backs and lighten them up.  I got them several months ago thinking about earrings but they had so much material on the back that they were too heavy for that.  Now that I've taken that material down, they aren't heavy at all and I can see a hint of light coming through the segments on the front - I love that.  So I guess that means maybe these will have to be set with an open back.



Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer work

This is a catching-up entry with several projects I made over the last six weeks but didn't get around to posting.  I think Instagram has kind of killed my blogging efforts - it's so easy to just post a picture and be done with it.  

This wand shaped lepidolite sat on my workbench for a long time while I thought about how to set it. It's not very easy to work with because it has flaky layers; I ended up using a flaw in the side to split it, giving it a flat back.  I really love how this came out.

Keychains galore.

Here's how they're made:

1. Pencil drawing affixed to
sterling ready for sawing
2. Sawing results
3. Soldering results
4. The final product

This set of moonstone post earrings go with a moonstone necklace I made last year.


And finally, lots of bottle tags for decanters, customized for the recipient.