*Don't Miss My Big Announcement at the End of this Blog!*It was a bright, sunny day in Quartzsite, AZ when I saw a tarp on the ground with creamy light green stones, and I was smitten. It came all the way to Arizona from South Africa, just for me. The vendor only had rough and a few cabs (I don't remember seeing any slices), so I didn't see below the exterior bumps like the ones in this picture of the outside.
PROBLEMS AS A CABBING MATERIAL
|Backlighting shows the structure inside the stone|
The structural material visible in the back lit picture of a cab, was somewhat harder than the areas without it. Also the black tourmaline inclusions have a mohs rating of 7, providing even more variation in the hardness when I'm shaping and polishing the stone.It doesn't seem like much of a difference when you look at the numbers, but it was really noticeable when I was working it. So as I tried to polish my first cab, I kept using very fine grits on it and the soft material ground out faster than the structural stone and tourmaline, giving me a bunch of low points, which, of course, wouldn't make a smooth surface.
YOUR LAPIDARY WHISPERER LEARNS
The next time I worked with this, I decided to go with a free-form shape and the prehnite cooperated a bit more (or maybe I was listening better). I also skipped my first wheel and went right to the 220 to start. I worked quickly and with a light touch. This time, I had a much better result as you can see in the picture at the top of this blog. Because of the nature of this material, I didn't really get a polish, but I finally did achieve a nice luster by not overworking the cab.
I'm glad I didn't get a lot of this material. I have one more smallish slab left, but I think it's going to spend some time in the box until it feels chatty.
Drop me a note and show me what you're up to in your lapidary shop!
ANNOUNCEMENT * DON'T MISS MY ARTICLE, "HARD ROCK MEALS" in the June edition of ROCK & GEM MAGAZINE! In it, I show how I created a case for shows that has a whole "meal" that's made completely out of rocks!!!
Come back on June 7, when I'm getting back inside rocks again. This time, it's not geodes, it's Thundereggs. Normally, they're not a favorite of mine, but wait until you see the cabs I've been able to make with what I've found inside!
See you next time,