This is me holding up the side of a lava tube at the Thurston Lava Tube also called the Nahuku in Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.
One good thing about the volcano erupting on the Big Island of Hawai'i right now is that its doing something lapidaries love--creating new rocks!
Unfortunately, most of it will be Basalt, the ugly cousin in the rock family. Basalt is the stuff you see hardened over the current lava flows, but it can hide some lovely secrets!
ROCKS FROM THE HAWAI'IAN VOLCANOES
Volcanic rocks originate from igneous magma within the earth's crust. When most of us lapidaries think of volcanic rocks, the first thing that comes to mind is Obsidian; that beautiful black/brown glass rock that makes magnificent cabochons.
However. . . Obsidian isn't all that common in Hawai'i. It's only found at the Pu'u Wa'awa'a Volcano on the west side of the Island of Hawai'i. The current eruptions are at Kilauea, on the eastern side.
After the Mt. St. Helens Volcano erupted, some clever glass makers created ornaments from the ash, so I decided to find our if the ash or Basalt from Kilauea was good for that. I'm not a glass maker, but I sure enjoy making cabs from slag glass!
No such luck, a phone call to Hot Island Glass, a glass studio in Maui let me know that the Hawai'ian lava Basalt doesn't have enough silica for art glass.
|Olivine on Basalt from Hawaii|