Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Story Stones II


This stone with its hidden face made me think of a burqa, a garment worn in public by some Islamic women for religious modesty.

The fact that she is hidden makes me wonder about the woman inside. Is she young or old? Thin or heavy? Is she smiling behind the light fabric covering her face? I think the pattern of brown-on-brown swirls add a bit of mystery to her.

As you can see, up around her face there are tiny voids in the st one. I've often found this material to be a bit on the soft side, and here, the inclusions of the swirls which are firmer than the matrix have caused these tiny voids during the grinding and polishing phases. I don't have a name for this jasper. I suspect that it evolved in a marine environment since the mish-mash of curves could be evidence of shells in mud.




BEACON HILL AGATE


I purchased this as part of a larger slab. There were several things that caught my eye and I saw an 'under the sea' theme right away--in an environmental way.

The darkened area consists of countless bits and having seen images of the amount of trash that has found its way to the bottom of the sea, it struck a chord with me. The rest of the slab is translucent to clear. The color it has is from a yellowish piece of paper I put behind it for the photo to highlight the druzy in the pocket of the wave going over the material.  It tells a story and is beautiful to look at. What more could I want?



JASP/AGATE



When I look at this cab I made, I think of myself sitting in an airplane and looking out the window.

Down below, I see clouds with a break in them that allows me to see the countryside with patches of greenery (farms? forests?) along with some darker areas that may be housing. In the center, there's a smooth blue-gray area that I see as a lake although in reality it's a translucent quartz. This whole mini-world takes place a one inch square cab. Amazing!





IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT


Picasso marble is loaded with stories!  This cab is on the darker side of the Picasso I've worked. However, when I put the stencil over it, it was obviously a bad storm, like the ones you see on tv and in movies just before the ship sinks. I like to think the dark lines across the cabochon are the  mast of a venerable sailing ship and the white on the bottom is waves with the white on the top showing the reflection from the lights when I took the photo.

FOSSILS


 Some of the greatest story stones of all are fossils. They are a window into life thousands and thousands of years ago. When I purchased the slab that has this neat bug in it, I was planning to cab it, but then I took a second look in better light. He's about 1.5 inches long.

If you're having problems seeing him, the dark debris is where a collar would be and his legs are hanging down in the center of the image. I could probably cab him, but I'm afraid I'd lose parts of him in the process. Even non-lapidary people get excited when they see him!

That's all of the Story Stones for this time. I hope you enjoyed them.

Did you see the Zoo animal rocks last time? I wasn't able to get notices out on social media. Take a look at it while you're here!

Drop me a note and let me know what you saw in them.  I'll be back in two weeks with another blog.

Your Lapidary Whisperer,

Donna

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ZOO-THEMED JASPERS

Zebra Jasper





Recently, I was looking through some slabs, and the Simon and Garfunkel lyrics, "It's all happening at the zoo," came to mind. On the table, I had slabs of zebra jasper and some beautiful tiger eye.

So I wondered, are there many other stones that could be zoo animals?  Yup! Here's the line-up of the ones I found in my shop.

The zebra is something I found at an estate sale in San Francisco. The shop equipment and contents were being sold after an old rockhound went to that lapidary shop in the sky.  I was pretty new at the hobby then, and I was entranced by the stark black vs. white coloring and the fluid lines of the rock. I took a few pounds then, now I wish I'd bought all there was.


TIGER EYE

Tiger Eye
This cab is from a smallish strip I purchased at a rock show. The first thing that struck my eye about it was how the brown intrusion on the large end drains like a lake through the most chatoyant part of the stone down to a blue tiger eye space. To me, it's a story stone, because of the way the color and the movement work together. For example, if it's not a lake draining to the bottom, what if it were a blue volcano with the brown smoke going through a bright sunset?  I believe this tiger eye originated in Western Australia where it is called Marra Mamba.

One thing I love about working tiger eye, is that with a Mohs scale hardness of 5.5-6, it is soft enough to work fairly quickly, but still hard enough to take a wonderful shine!




Snakeskin Jasper
SNAKESKIN JASPER

Okay, let's start with the fact that I have no idea why it's called snakeskin when it's red. I'm not sure I've ever seen a red snake.

The parallel red lines do remind me of a snake and I can almost see it slithering along, but really . . . Maybe it's a special zoo snake.



KAMBABA "Crocodile" JASPER

Kambaya "Crocodile" Jasper






As jasper goes, crocodile is reminiscent of the animal, but it's a long way from being the most attractive stone out there. It does give the overall impression of a crocodile skin, I haven't been able to get the cabs from the piece of rough I purchased to take much of a shine. I've been using cerium oxide on canvas. Has anyone out there had a better result with another polishing medium?


 



SHOULD BE AT THE ZOO

When you look at a piece of petoskey stone, don't you think of a tortoise shell? It really has that vibe, but I didn't see it called that anywhere. You can see images of petoskey stones at http://www.tribal-software.com 

So, these are the zoo animals from my workshop rocks. Do you have any "zoo" named minerals you're working on or any minerals you think should have zoo names?  Send me a note with a picture, I'd love to see it!

Until next time,

Your Lapidary Whisperer,
Donna