Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And even more chalcedony . . . . .

Is there really more to say since I believe I've already outted myself as a Chalcedony Addict and who can blame me?

Swingy. Simple. Modern.
Glowing. Juicy.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Artitudes Art Show and Sale

For the sixth straight year, our Lincoln-based artist group "Artitudes" is hosting an art show and sale and we've chosen a Lincoln-based charity as our partner group. Thanks to our wonderful artists, a portion of all sales will be donated drectly to The Foodbank of Lincoln BackPack Program. And an incredible group of artists we have this time - 35 of them!

If you're in the Lincoln/Omaha area, we'd love to see you there! The show will open for the First Friday Gallery Walk and will be at 8th and Q in The Haymarket at the former site of The Tool House. Dates are December 4-6, Friday 4:00-9:00, Saturday 10:00-5:00 and Sunday 11:00-4:00.

Stop in if you can - there is some incredible artwork for sale here and shopping local from your neighbors to support a local charity is a wonderful thing to do.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Custom Tiger Eye ring . . .

This piece of Tiger Eye was one of the last stones left when a friend's father purged his lapidary equipment and his rough material last summer. Sad to see things come to an end but Nancy wanted to take this one tumbled stone and turn it into something for her dad which is where I come in.

Truly a big ol' chunk of tumbled Tiger Eye, I flattened the back to create a cabochon and refined the edges so it would bezel-set. Since it was a pretty big stone to begin with, I wanted this to have a wide band with some echoes of the chatoyance in the stone's banding - hence, the layered ring shank. And I really like the way the band turned out.

I prefer a bit of oxidation and I tried that with this ring but it really cried out for high polish so there you go. Gotta listen sometimes and in spite of what my brain wants, this works better. Too, it will oxidize in the crevices over time so why rush it?

Monday, November 9, 2009

More chalcedony . . .

This time, daggers!

Here are some sweet stones that really lend themselves to this 'hinge thing' I've got going on. Such great movement in these little guys with the hinge, the swingy legs and all.

Off to The Lux Gallery . . .

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chalcedony addiction . . .

Hi. My name is Lynn and I'm a chalcedony addict.

The translucency of this material, no matter the color, is something I cannot resist. It has a warm, waxy, soft feel in your hand and is generally creamy to brown in color - the sweet colors like aqua, pink, blue and green are dyed, but who cares? They're gorgeous.

While I'm not nearly educated enough to understand the geological makeup of chalcedony, I do know that agate is a form of chalcedony as well as carnelian and chrysoprase. Purists, paleontologists and real lapidarists will debate the fine points until our eyes roll back in our heads so I don't even go there. I just love the stuff and do what little I can to make it pretty.

This itty bitty collection is what I whipped out last night. Had so much fun that I'm considering a trip back to the bead store today to see what's come in since my last expensive trip. I wish this was the sort of material I could buy online but, sadly - no. Gotta hold the beads in my hand and feel the weight and warmth.
Love the stuff. It's a wonderful problem to have.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And now for something complete different . . .

. . . a few of my drawings.

I have a 'thing' for drawing reflections and shiny metal not to mention a love affair with old cars. When we hit the car shows and cruise nights, I am constantly on the lookout for interesting shots. I take my own photos and crop and manipulate them until I come up with something 'pencil-worthy'. I use Prismacolor colored pencils on Arches paper.
These are a '55 Chevrolet BelAir and a '60 Ford Thunderbird. I sometimes get requests to draw the entire car but that's not my 'thang'. I prefer to get the angle that I think tells the most about the car. All the better if there is a reflection of another car!

Look closely - I also make sure when I take a picture that my own reflection is in each car somewhere. A nice contrast to the hard metals I usually work with.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What I like to wake up to . . .

Two sales! Just when I start to lament that I haven't had an etsy sale in October, I get two in one day. However it comes, I like it.

I love this piece of pale cream Willow Creek Jasper and it polished beautifully. Like a pencil line drawing on a creamy paper with a tiny sun rising in the upper corner, or maybe a little coffee spill from the artist's cup, this will be gorgeous on a warm, winter wool coat, maybe a jacket, and I've loved it for a long time. Bye . . . sniff . . . I miss 'em all.

The other little necklace is one of the first pieces of apple green Prehnite that I cut and polished earlier this summer. It glows, I swear. It has its own life. On the back I've punched a pattern of a little constellation from a galaxy far, far away. Another simple setting, it will be perfect hanging in the hollow of your throat.

Bon chance, little pieces!

Enjoy your new home! Write!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

For my friend Lil Fish Studios . . .

I am so lucky.

Lucky to have learned lapidary work, to have learned metalwork, to have friends who will send me little rocks to 'prettify', to have two healthy hands to create and lucky to have a creative mind that works.

Here's what you get when you use all of the skills to create something of beauty - two little necklaces to cherish. And both of them are on their way to Lisa at Lil Fish Studios as a 'thank you' for sending that sweet box of rocks to Nebraska.

Monday, September 28, 2009

you never know what you're gonna get . . .

My new friend Lisa (Lil Fish Studios) sent me a little boxful of all sizes of Lake Superior Agates last week and here's what I uncovered inside the stones . . .
Sweet, no?

Monday, September 7, 2009

One a day

Sometimes it's a challenge just to get into the shop and clear off the bench. But I turned these out today just for fun - so there you go.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tourmalinated Quartz . . .

This turned out to be one gorgeous icy ring. The inclusions are spectacular so setting it with an open back was a no-brainer - as was darkening the channel in the band.

So cool.

Update :: sold!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

VinNebraska and All Our Kids, Inc. Art Show

Thanks goodness the weather was wonderful since you really can't ever count on a cool August in Nebraska and that alone makes for a great art show. Tents and tables were already set up and ready for us when we got there so I was grateful not to have to struggle with those two heavy things this time!

There were about 30 artists at this event, which was the organizers first attempt at an art show combined with their fundraising soiree. Granted, most people were there to sample the wines and food and that alone did bring a bit of traffic but sales were disappointing. That's the chance you always take at art shows, n'est ce pas?

On the super swell, positive side, I met some wonderful new artists whom I really, really hope to see again sometime. Plus, it gave me a chance to try out my new set up and display pieces so that's the *big* plus!
Oh, and the wonderful company of my friends, of course.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Coyote pup at the neighbor's house . . .

Again, I hope these twins develop a healthy fear of peeps

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Coyote pup!

I've been listening to these little guys talk to each other at night for a month or more but this is the first time I've seen one of them. There are two and they're pretty young - maybe 4 months old or so and about the size of a Jack Russell Terrier.

This pup let me get what I thought was too close, around 20'. I took this picture from the car and 20' is really too close even for the curious pup, I think. Hope they develop a healthy fear of humans as we really don't want them sleeping on the back porch or anything. However, I don't think they have a taste for barn cats if they're well fed and we could use fewer mice and garden-destroying rabbits around here.

I now carry a large stick and my cell phone when I walk.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ice baby!

Love this Tourmalinated Quartz

I got three pieces of this from Prof Pabian, my lapidary instructor, and here you see one. The stones just beg to be set open-back. Shows off the icy coolness and the stabs of sweet inclusions.

Pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Amanda's necklace

My friend Amanda asked me to make her a little necklace to remind her of her grandmother who used to wear a lot of lapis lazuli. Since her grandma had passed, Amanda had none of her jewelry and wanted a little piece of lapis so I made her this sweet necklace.

I wanted it to be a bit lacy and I scalloped the edges and set it with a scalloped bezel. I cut a tiny heart in the back and hung a little lapis bead from the hook to represent Amanda.

Turned out nice, I think. I hope she loves it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

And the other prehnite cab is set . . .

No words necessary, hmmm?
Prehnite couldn't be yummier.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Where the magic happens . . . Jill, for you

I probably should have posted a pic of the Genie in my last post to show exactly what my lapidary equipment is. This little guy really does a fantastic job, I think, although there are much larger and more complicated machines.

There are six wheels in six progressively finer grits as noted in my previous post, the finest being a polishing grit, two spitters to keep the wheels wet as I grind and a lamp so I can see what I'm doing, and a magnifying glass for those of us over 40.

And the end result of the piece of prehnite I polished earlier this week - made into a sweet necklace.

(a daylily pair- had to sneak that in)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Me and my Genie: Making Ordinary Rocks Pretty . . .

While trying to describe to someone how I polish a stone and what lapidary equipment I use, it occurred to me that I should maybe post a blog entry with photos. So here goes.

I don't cut my own slabs. Instead I hit the local gem and mineral shows, buy from ebay rock shops or trade with friends who, like me, periodically clean out their stash to make room for new stuff. I begin with a little slab of whatever material I want to polish - here it's prehnite because I LOVE the color and it's something I've only bought in finished cab form. Since I've not polished prehnite, I'm not familiar with its polishing habits so I'll enjoy a challenge.

Most really and truly lapidary folk have a trim saw to cut their little slabs into the desired shapes and they will cut their stones into either weird shapes to accent the stone's patterns for show displays or into calibrated sizes so that they fit pre-made bezels. Not a fan of calibrated cabs - pesonal preference. However, I'm lazy and I'm cheap and I used what my instructor called the Bowes-O-Matic Trim Saw: a ball peen hammer. Actually, in class I got tired of waiting my turn on the trim saw so I started breaking my slabs with bigger rocks. Anyhoo.

At this point, some people will glue their stone to a short section of dowel rod or even a nail with either Gel Super Glue or green dopping wax stuff. I don't - it's a step I can do without and I prefer to use my fingers.

On my Genie's coarsest grit diamond wheel (80 grit), I start grinding the edges into the shape I want. Occasionally, a stone is too "soft" and if I know it will flake or grind too quickly, I'll start with finer grit to slow down the shaping process. Here I'm taking the edges down to a triangular shape on the diamond 80. (Side note: my Genie has six grinding and polishing wheels: 80, 220, 280, 600, 1200 and 3000 plus two buffing pads that I rarely use.)

Once I have the stone in the general shape I have in mind, I cut a 45* angle edge to start the rounded top leaving a little flat side edge so that a bezel will sit upright at a 90* angle to the base. Personal preference - I like my cabs thicker. I also check the sides and top frequently by holding the stone up to eye level with my thumb so I can see that the top is rounding evenly and I
don't end up with a lop-sided top on the finished cab.

I continue to work the stone evenly by constantly moving it in different directions, switching sides, keeping the motion even and stopping frequently to hold the stone up to eye level for an "evenness" check. At this point, I turn the stone over to the backside and make a small 45* angle at what will be the base. This step will ensure that I have left enough room for a solder joint if and when this stone is bezel set. Back to the top - I keep working the stone until I'm satisfied that it is ready for final polish with no flat places. If I find flat spots, I go back to the previous wheel and work them out.
You can see in this pic above that the back of the stone still has some cutting wheel marks so it will have to be taken back to a coarser grit to polish those out. No one will ever see the back but I'll know it wasn't finished correctly so back to the wheel it will go. Although I feel that my final 3000 wheel is sufficient for my purposes, I do have two buffing pads that I can use for a high polish.

I know that there are a bazillion other lapidary people out there who are more detailed and scientific in their approach to rock polishing, shaping and beyond, but this is the process that works best for my stones and me. I can really get into a groove sometimes and lose myself in the grinding and polishing but the best part is ending up with some spectacular stones and having the satisfaction of creating a piece of jewelry from beginning to end.