Monday 5 February 2024

Winter Comes To The Neck

 Well, our first big snow storm has finally arrived and it's a doozy. Fortunately (for us) we are getting the least amount of snow in the province but at the other end (Cape Breton) they have drifts 10 feet high and the Halifax area has received over 2 feet! It is "Snowmageddon"!

Here's how things are looking in Cape Breton. (not my pic)

Needless to say there will be no beachcombing today. Fortunately, I have a ton of cabochons to work with.

Now the job is to choose about a dozen to make pieces for the shop. We will probably open sometime in early April and by then the store will be fully stocked.

Here's one of my favourites.

We are so fortunate to have such beautiful local gemstone quality agate, jasper, carnelian- you name it we've got it! Digby Neck is such a magical place.
Hope to see you next summer!


Monday 4 December 2023

One Door Shuts...And Another Opens

 Well, the scenery sure has changed. I now look out on several inches of snow with more to come today. Lapidary work requires a lot of water and right now that water is cold- VERY cold.

So now the scene shifts to fabrication and that takes place on my bench in my alloted space in "the real artist's" studio.

I have a problem that would be the envy of most- too much beautiful material! The real artist (AKA She with the agate eye) keeps finding me beautiful agates, jasper, amethyst, carnelian- you name it. I literally have enough good material to keep me going for decades but at 77 years old (and I mean OLD) I don't see decades in my future. So the first task has been to pare down the "stash" to a manageable amount.

As you can see this hasn't been an easy job. The small oval container just to the left of the blue bin contains well over 100 possible cabs to set. I'll probably get that down to about 20 that I'll start working on soon.

So if you ever want to buy some beautiful cabochons to make your own pieces, let me know.

Friday 22 September 2023

A Powerhouse Rock Saw

 I am a member of several Facebook lapidary equipment groups and often see people dissing the Hi-Tech 10 inch saw. It's a cheap build and not powerful enough to cut big stuff- especially using water, not oil.

Well, I've got news for you guys- you're dead wrong!

Today I decided to cut a rather large rock.

I don't use a vise and that is a 10 inch Hi-Tech sintered (red) blade that I have "reconditioned" using the Highland Park technique of hitting the rim with a bastard file- works like a charm. As you can see, the rock is a full 3 5/8 inch high and while it's a little macro, it's still a silicate and plenty hard. I cut two slabs.

The first slab was 5/16 inch thick and once I saw what the saw could do, I cut the second 3/16 inch. The saw actually has a vise and a bridge whose position can be changed by using different holes in the deck but honestly, I find that I can get uniform cuts just by lining the piece up using the patterning on the deck. That's beautiful flame agate around the edge. Here's a close up lit from the front.

I will sell these in my shop as slabs to be placed in front of a light or candle so here's the back lit money shot.

One last thing about the saw: I have used it regularly for 4 years and cut a ton of rock. There has been absolutely no warping of the resin body and, of course, no rusting. It is one tough customer. The blade is as true as the day I got it and the Hi-Tech red sintered blade will go to-to-toe with any other name brand in both quality of cut and durability. Because it uses water, even my artist wife likes it and, since she makes paint from the rock sludge, she'll even clean it for me! Check out an earlier blog post to see a painting she did using the sludge.

If you ever find yourself on Digby Nech, stop by and if the weather is good, I'll fire it up for you.

Friday 25 August 2023

The Family Reunion

 A few weeks back we experienced a very rare occurance. Our daughter Lisa, who hand dyes our beautiful Seawall Fibres Yarn, was visiting from the Bahamas. Then our other daughter Sandra, who fashions a lot of our polymer clay pieces, came from Dartmouth. So for three days we had the "Original Fab Four" back together and even had our granddaughter here for a bit as a bonus! It was like going back decades- lots of recounting of family legends, cheating accusations during various games and, most important, lots of laughter!

Man I've missed that laughter.

Much time was spent in the studio and there was even some rockhounding at nearby Gulliver's Cove.

Gullivers is a beautiful spot on the Bay of Fundy and there is a public hiking trail right out to that point, with spectacular views.

Over the years we have found some nice pieces there- especially botryoidal and porcelain agate. You will notice that the pics only include Vickie and Sandra. There are two reasons for this. First, I still can't walk very well so somebody had to take the pics. Secondly, we found that in Norwegian, the name Lisa  actually means "She who cannot find silicates- especially amethyst"! I know... who would have ever thought that's how Lisa would translate but over the years we have found this to be jaw dropping in its accuracy. Lisa has been unable to locate amethyst pieces even after we have seeded the beach and told her where to look!!

Upon their return, all finds were brought to me for inspection and the usual haggling ensued as to what was suitable for cutting and what was destined for the "rock wall of shame".

So if you like rockhounding, come to Digby Neck. And if you think you've found something interesting, bring it by and I'll give you my professional opinion (limit one rock) and show you around my rock shop- The Lap of Lapidary!

Monday 31 July 2023

We're Back!

 I am now mobile enough to get to the showroom and my office so we are open for business again! Stop by and see what's new.

Thursday 27 July 2023

Temporary Shop Closure

 Some may know  that I have had both hips replaced and last weekend I did something to displace the left one. It's getting better but I  still can't walk very well so we have decided to close for   the baalance of the week.

I will be here and can be reached by phone (902) 482-2188 or by email    If you are only here fooor   a few days and really want something from the shop, Vickie will be around and if you call, we'll try our best to open for you

Friday 21 July 2023

Lost Painting

 This post is for the nice golfer and his son (big Celtics fan I gather) who bought several items. When you realize that you don't have the small painting, contact me and I'll send it to you no charge.

I'm posting here since I gave you my card and encouraged you to check out the blog.

And don't forget, we accept repeat visitors. Next time we'll talk golf!