Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Doing more of what makes me happy

I know I have been radio silent of late. I am still here. Learning more techniques and making more jewelry. This is one of my latest creations. The necklace is made with a copper backing, a frame of bronze and set in a fine silver bezel. The stone is a kaleidoscope jasper and the cabochon is handmade by me.
I wanted to learn the art of lapidary and about stone properties so I joined the El Dorado County Mineral and Gem Society.
Here are the basic steps. Start with a rock. Clamp the rock inside a slab saw. The saw has a diamond blade and cuts very slowly. 
Here is the rock cut open. How cool right??
Now you keep the rock in the slab saw and just move it over with a hand crank to cut a slab. Here is an example of one I purchased at a gem show. It's called Lavic siding jasper.
Now once you have your slab ready, you use a template and a permanent sharpie to draw your shape. In this picture I have already drawn the shape, cut the stone with a trim saw and attached it to a dop stick.
 I have also started rounding it with an arbor. The wheels of the arbor have different diamond grits, and you keep going up in grits like sandpaper.

Here you see a pro at work. Tony is finishing up a turquoise cab and getting it ready to be polished.
Some more of my finished cabs.

This weekend we are going on a field trip to hunt for smokey quartz crystals! 
Oh no. It's official, I have turned into my mom! Whatever, who cares when you are having this much fun right?


  1. I absolutely love everything about this design! I'm so impressed with all of the lapidary skills you have been learning - so amazing!

  2. Thank you Cindy! I don't know if I will continue making cabochons, but I certainly do have a new appreciation for how they are made!