Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Journey From Stone to Jewelry

Just back from Halifax where we picked up some agate stone we had cut by Scotian Lapidary. There are some absolutely beautiful pieces which we will now finish. Gotta fire up "The Beast" again!
Then today it was off to Yarmouth to pick up a stunning pendant that John Hood at Scotia Gems has crafted from one of the agates we found. Here it is!

front of pendant in silver setting with cast silver seashell
The stone shows beautiful areas of red and golden flame and some fortification agate as well.

The lovely open-back setting.
That got me thinking about the fascinating process of creating beautiful pieces such as this. In this case, it started with Vickie finding a rather large rock containing some beautiful flame agate. John took the rock and cut a slab about 7 mm thick and from that used another saw to rough cut the shape you see. This sounds pretty simple but it takes knowledge and experience to know exactly how the stone should be cut to maximize it's beauty. Cut it wrong and it may be ruined. These pieces are called cabochons and they have to be ground, polished and contoured using several separate pieces of equipment.I think John is still using equipment his grandfather bought! A lot of the agate is discarded in the process and, again, it takes an expert like John to make the best use of the stone and find the most dramatic and interesting areas. Then John uses wax to create a mold to hold the stone and fills the mold with silver. The mold is then removed and the stone is fixed securely inside and you have the beautiful piece you see above. It takes a good stone and an experienced craftsman like John to create something so beautiful and dramatic. That's why we carry John's work.

In other news, we are now in the electronic version of the Nova Scotia Tourism's Doers and Dreamers Travel Guide. Next year we will be in the printed version as well.
Things are starting to heat up on the Neck and we see more and more tourists here and in town. My geologist buddy from Australia arrives on Friday. Can't wait to show him our stone!
Drop by and see all the beautiful stuff and then go walk the beach.
See you soon.

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