Friday, 14 December 2018

Back in the Jewelry Lab

It's been pretty cold here of late so I'm getting around to doing some assembly. And thanks to my daughter Lisa, I have a very good supply of silver plate bezels that lend themselves to a new concept I have wanted to try.

I call it "Stone & Bone"- combining polished stone with fossilized Shark's Teeth. Here's an example.

This piece combines an elegant piece of Jasper with a wire wrapped shark's tooth and hung from a black buna cord Here's another:

This is a beautiful piece of local plume agate in a silver plate bezel and suspended from the bezel is a fossilized tooth and piece of drilled shell- all hung from a black leather cord.

We are also finishing off some of the pieces Vickie has done using polymer clay. This piece we call Samuri and created the effect of fossilized bone wrapped in worn leather.

It is hung from a segmented metal chain that can be shortened if desired.

These are a little different from earlier pieces so I would really appreciate your honest feedback on the "Stone& Bone" concept.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be doing several pieces using leather to hold the stones so stay tuned.


Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Latest Piece of Rock Jewelry

It has been really cold here of late so I finally got around to cleaning my work bench so I could finish a few things.

Here is a really interesting local stone that has a bit of everything- agate, jasper and pockets of crystalline quartz.

The stone is fairly large (4.5 mm high) and the quarts pockets make it "twinkle" as the stone moves. Because of the size, I was able to use 18 gauge copper wire to make the "prong" setting I have developed and it is nice and firm. And if you look really closely, you can see a few "artist's marks" which I like to leave on the piece. I hung it from a really nice persimmon premium Greek leather cord and used 100% hand made copper clasps.

And here it is ready to go to a very nice lady in Bear River.

My next piece is going to feature a copper plate with a very intricate cut out design to set a gorgeous piece of local carnelian so look for it in a couple of days.


Friday, 23 November 2018

Back in the Rock Lab

We have had snow and high winds on The Neck for the last few days but with my industrial heater, it's warm enough to work in the lab.
So here's an update on the material I showed you in my last post. I have finished the cab and guitar pick I made from petrified work and here's how it looks before I do the final polish.

I am actually going to use the red pebble grained leather behind the stones to create a "setting" for the guitar pick and it will become a pendant for Vickie's 48th wedding anniversary. (I looked it up and 48 years is petrified wood- actually, it's home improvement but that's no fun!). I won't polish the pick because it will become too slippery to use but I'll probably use my tin oxide and Fordham Buffer on the pendant.

I also finished one of the two pieces of Rhodonite (I love this material!). Again, this photo is taken before any polishing but just as it came off the 8,000 grit belt.

This stone is 4.5 cm x 2.7 cm and I have actually cut a groove all around the edge of the stone to hold a silver wire which will be the only setting. The stone's patterning and colour are so striking I want to show as much as possible. This one along with the petrified wood piece will be available eventually in the Artist's Mark Shop.

So that's how I'm spending Black Friday. Hope that wherever you are, you have a great day!

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Working With Petrified Wood

Last summer, my friend and fellow lapidary Glenn Cook from Arizona gave me some beautiful slabs of petrified wood from his "stash". I would tell you the extent of said "stash" but you'd never believe me. Let's just say it's... significant!

Anyway, Glenn cuts thick slabs and this one is about 11 mm. I was originally going to make a pendant and Vickie created a shape so I cut the slab and did a rough grind on the shape. Here's what it looked like.

Since it was too heavy, I thought I would try a little experiment to save me a lot of grinding. Could I actually cut this into two ovals without using a vise? First step was to draw a guide line.

Those of you with sharp eyes will notice that my line wasn't exactly straight but I knew that if I cut on the top side of the line on the left and ended up in the middle of the line on the right it would be perfect. Since I would be feeding the stone by hand, I decided to use my thin MK trim saw blade to give myself a little more margin for error. I carefully started to feed the stone into the blade and here's my result.

The thick piece on the left is now about 6 mm and I will now do a bevel around the edge on the good side and grind it smooth. If it is still too heavy, I'll grind a bit off the back. The one on the left is a shade under 4 mm.Again, sharp eyes will notice that there is now a shape defined on the right. That's the guitar pick that I'm going to make Vickie for our 48th anniversary in a few weeks. I'm thinking I might drill a little hole in it so she can wear it as well as use it as a pick.

Stay tuned for the final result!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Picking Time on The Neck

Winter is coming.

All the signs are there. Today, we had some snow and the high winds and sub freezing temperatures  made the walk from my office to the rock lab "refreshing". The hatches have been battened down, roof leak repaired and the wood stove is cranked up. We're ready.

The industrial heater in the rock lab makes it nice and comfortable out there and over the last week I have finished a new batch of guitar picks.

I started with 23. 3 broke and the guy who fixed my roof bought 2 so I am left with 18 which should be enough to get me through the holiday season. The patterning in these is awesome and the light ones are mostly amethyst. Now I have to make some more leather pouches.

Fortunately, I have a lot of leather blanks ready to go and they can be done where it's nice and warm.

And speaking of warm, my friend in Arizona sent me pics of some slabs he is bringing me next year. These are slabs of petrified wood from the Petrified Forest in Arizona.

Pretty awesome, huh? Can't wait to do some cutting and polishing!

We will be taking the sign in pretty soon so it doesn't blow away but if the car is here, we're here so come on in.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

The Beauty of Nova Scotia

It's been a while since I posted because I've been busy in the rock lab and it's also the time of the year when we "batten down the hatches" around here. The store is still open but we will probably bring the large sign in so it doesn't blow away in the next big wind.

The knitters had a very successful show in both Vancouver and Austen Texas but we have received new stock just before the postal strike!

So, the beauty of Nova Scotia. For those of you who have traveled here, you know all about it. You are never more than a few miles from the ocean and even old abandoned houses are amazing! Just google abandoned houses in Nova Scotia to see what I mean. People have been living, and making a living, here for 300 years so history is everywhere you look.

Even the weather is beautiful- especially when it is wild. And trust me it gets pretty wild! Here's what I woke up to a few days ago, when a big storm was heading our way.

Talk about "red skies in the morning"! We were getting pounded just a few hours later.

But there's beauty everywhere, even below ground. Here's a slice of a fossilized tree showing really distinct rings.

And here's a beautiful slice of seam agate.

So if your idea of a great vacation is to wring beauty from nature, this is your place. And if you find your way to my beautiful "neck of the woods"- Digby Neck, stop by and say hi and I'll show you some beautiful treasures of nature.

Monday, 24 September 2018

It's Knit City Week!

Vancouver, here we come or rather, here comes Vickie and Lisa. I will stay at home to look after the shop and the cats.
The feverish preparations are winding down and the last sock blank has been packed up. Here's a sample:

So as in previous years, I have to advise you of a few changes. First off, the shop will be closed on Wednesday, September 26th and Sunday October 7th so that I can get Vickie to and from the airport in Halifax.
Also, while we still have some yarn on the shelves, a lot of it will be in Vancouver and, after that, Austen Texas along with many of the finished hand knitted pieces so if you are looking for knitting supplies, stay away for a few weeks! (just kidding- come by and buy some rocks!).
I'll be in the rock lab where the cats can't get at me!