Thursday, 23 July 2020

Latest Pieces from The Lap of Lapidary

Well, it certainly has been a "different" summer- in many ways.

First, there has been the weather- definitely not the year for "fun in the sun" as we have had very few nice days to date.

And then there's "the Virus".

Although there are tourists from other parts of our "Atlantic Bubble" in town, we decided not to open the gift shop because of its small size and will look to establish a significant web presence in the fall. That has meant that it is really quiet around here and while we miss meeting all the interesting people who stop by, it has given us more time to "create". Vickie has been doing some very interesting artwork which is nearing completion and when finished, I'll do a post on it.

It's been fun playing with my new toy- the 8 inch Cab King and a new old (50+ years) toy- my 10 inch Mercury oil saw that daughter Sandra updated with a new and more powerful motor.

I am in the midst of a massive project to create pendants, ear rings and rings from the beautiful petrified wood slabs gifted to me by Glenn Cooke (miss you guys!) but have taken some time to finish a few pieces of local stone that are now ready for wrapping.

The first one is a perfect Digby Neck pendant.

It is shaped just like The Neck- right down to Brier Island- with little druzy pockets in each segment and is made up of the basic rock that makes up The neck- basalt and agate.

The next piece comes from Brier Island- a beautiful piece of dark green brecciated (broken) jasper

I plan on cutting a groove around the edge and wrapping it with silver wire. Should be dynamite!

And then there are these two little gems. They come from a small stone found on a nearby beach that offered a really nice surprise when cut. The smaller is about an inch long.

The colour and detail on the patterning is awesome and deserving of a nice setting.

All for now. Hope to see you soon. Cheers!

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Petrified Wood Project Update

In my previous post I showed the slabs of petrified wood with the shapes I had defined using a marker. I have a combination of pendants, ear rings and a couple of rings.

It took me two days to rough cut all the shapes using a Cab King trim saw and my Hi-Tech 10 inch saw with a thin blade to accommodate some of the larger pieces. I was really pleased with the results since I started with 55 shapes and only lost two due to shattering along fractures. Here's how they looked then.

This morning I switched out the trim saw attachment for the right hand wheels on my Cab King and got busy grinding off all the excess material using my coarse (80 grit) wheel. I was amazed at how fast it went and now they look like this.

So now I am ready for the next step where I will use my 220 grit wheel to do the final smoothing around the perimeter and grind off rock on top to produce "domes" that will allow the rocks to polish. This is a much slower process but it is worth it to get stones that are well shaped because any flaws introduced now can't be undone down the road.

I continue to be really impressed with my Cab King, especially the water delivery system and removal system. And it is really easy to convert back and forth to the trim saw.

Stay tuned for the next step in this rather large project!


Saturday, 11 July 2020

My Next Project

One good thing about no tourists is that I'm getting to spend a lot more time in my "Lap of Lapidary" shop. So today I embarked on a rather large project.

Fortunately for me, I have an amazing amount of quality local rock to choose from. And if that wasn't enough, I have a good friend- Glenn Cooke- who has gifted me a wonderful assortment of agate and jasper from the Petrified Forest in Arizona (all ethically collected).

This rock was formed about 225 million years ago or about 100 million years later than the rocks on Digby Neck (a wink of an eye geologically speaking). Over the eons, the trees, buried in sediments, were converted from wood to rock and what a conversion! There is an amazing array of colour in the jasper and agate and many pieces have retained the trees growth rings etc..

The first step involved defining shapes and cut lines in the slabs. here's a photo of the result.

Many of the slabs contain fractures so you have to be a little careful where you put your shapes. If there are a lot of fractures, I do straight cuts first to see how the rock will split. Here is another part of the assortment.

In all, I have defined 55 shapes so far for pendants, ear rings and the odd ring.

So now it is time to convert my Cab King cabbing machine to a trim saw and start cutting. Once that is complete, I'll go through the off cuts and probably be able to get another 5 pairs of ear rings and a couple of rings. Then I'll convert my machine back to the 6 wheel grinder/ polisher and start doing the final shaping and polishing. In all honesty I have held off doing this for a long time but my new Cab King is so much faster and easier that I felt now was the time (especially since there are no tourists!).

So stay tuned as I intend to show updates as the work progresses.

By the way, did you know that the Cliffs of the Bay of Fundy are a Unesco Geopark? I live in a Geopark! You should definitely check it out.

Cheers from Digby Neck!

Sunday, 5 July 2020

What We've Been Up To

So how are we all bearing up in these "unique" times? It is so strange not having tourists visiting the shop but we are still keeping busy.

The new Cab King has proven to be amazing and we are producing some really outstanding finished product.

I have run into a bit of a problem though in that the "real artist" has decided she likes working on it as well and has even demanded her own apron!

Fortunately, she got bored and returned to her own side of the wall where she has been busy making gelli prints. I have no idea of the process other than the fact that I can no longer remove any of the various weeds around the house. The results are pretty cool I must admit. Here are a couple that are about 12x16 inches.

I find the detail amazing and, frankly struck by how beautiful an image a weed can make. Almost makes up for the fact I live my life in a grade 7 science project!

Next week I will shift my attention to some cutting on the 10 inch saw and making some polished specimens on my Hi-Tech slant lap so stay tuned!