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!