Thursday, February 2, 2017

Vugs, Druzy, and Lost Opportunities


Great Cutting Makes a Beautiful Cab Possible
          Have you ever seen a slab that made you want to find the person who cut it and use power tools on them? (Rhetorical question, of course).
          My pet peeve is that when I’m at a show where vendors are selling slabs, they’ll often have a plastic bin of slabs from the same rock. Good so far. Then I look at the slabs and see where they have cut through a vug and then left the beautiful, druzy-lined opening too close to the edge to incorporate it into a cab or cut across it like it was waste. 

What Was He Thinking???
          I know I’m not alone with loving those cozy druzy-lined holes in slabs. In fact, some jewelry makers cut small geodes cross-wise and use them as pendants for necklaces. Again, good. Lots of people get to enjoy one geode that way.
          And, sometimes I find a delightful story stone, but the story has been lopped off with a cut crossing a critical story element like a dramatic line or flower. Arrgggh.

          Since attacking a vendor for badly cutting their stones is considered anywhere from assault to attempted murder, that leaves us as lapidaries to come up with a new way to work with the slab—or not. I admit if I see a story stone, whether it’s agate, jasper, or other minerals, and it looks as if it had its story amputated by a blindfolded cutter, I usually put it back in the bin and walk away. The few times I haven’t, I’ve gotten home to my shop and the slab never wants to talk to me. It just sits there, looking at me in defeat. These rarely get used.
Tip! If you, like me, tend to carry a sturdy bag  when I’m shopping for slabs, carry one or more of your lapidary templates in the bag so you can use the shapes to help develop design ideas when you’re looking at slabs.

Basket of Diamonds

          However, with slices with partial vugs lined with druzy, I can sometimes come up with ideas to focus all the positive attention on what I’d originally seen as a problem. For example, in the cab above, I would loved to have seen the full slab. But the part I found had a pattern of rounded bands that mirrored the curve of the vug. It told me it was really a basket filled with diamonds. So, that’s how I finished it!
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         I’d love to know what you like to do with druzy and vugs. Write me at

Yours for Lapidary Fun!
Your Lapidary Whisperer,
Donna Albrecht



  1. I love your "Basket full of Diamonds" great idea and way to work with the crystal rock.

    Also I have found working with druzied parts of a cab to "cut into them" with my diamond grinders 100 & 220 grit to "take off the edge" that would otherwise be biting at the higher polishing grits.

  2. Thanks! The challenging part of that piece was that I wasn't able to make it as perfect a curve across the broad section because I was afraid that if I did any grinding on the tips, I'd lose them. The piece would have been too plain as an empty basket.