And some more St Helena Rock

And some more St Helena Rock

St Helena Rock Jewellery and Display Piece

THIS is why I love what I do!

“I love love love my new pendant and the gorgeous display piece!!! Just amazing!
Thanks again. Em x”

St Helena Rock Keepsakes

This is part of a bespoke order that started a VERY long time ago. So why am I writing about it now? Because sometimes life can be a b***h. First Iritis… then more iritis… then we lost Millie… then Dave’s back problems and lots of other “stuff” like going full time on the jewellery and rock business which involved so much “admin”. Bah!

Through all this Emma was so understanding. And finally she received her pieces yesterday. A Copper wrapped pendant and a display piece for the St Helena Corner she has made in her home which is all about her trips to the lovely island and the happy memories.

I am so grateful Em for your patience and your support and understanding through all the madness. And so happy you like what we made.

First Auralite Pendant

First Auralite Pendant

We recently started working with a miner in Thunder Bay, Canada and importing Thunder Bay Crystals including Auralite directly from him. The rough stock is mostly for sale from our Rough Rock Shop.

But surely that’s not all we will do with this amazing rock? Of course not! More about our Thunder Bay adventures later but here is the first piece of jewellery I made with a piece of rough Canadian Chevron Amethyst from Thunderbay, also known as Auralite.

Auralite and Sterling silver pendant
There is something very uplifting about wire-wrapping rough rock which has not been through the polishing process.

Yesterday the supplier Alan and his lovely wife Monica were in the UK on way to a European holiday and Mr A met up with them in London to collect a new consignment. I thought it would be nice to gift my first piece of Auralite jewellery to Monica and wrapped a 2 inch piece in sterling silver for this simple pendant (she could wear it as a brooch on a kilt pin too) I am delighted to say she loved it!

So watch this space for more authentic Thunderbay Crystals Jewellery…

Zebra Stone & Printstone

Spent a happy day in the ‪‎lapidary‬ workshop yesterday tidying up some zebra stone and print stone & making pendants. These will be listed in my shop very soon. I just need to take a few more photos first.

The stones were cut by Mr A and shaped and polished by me and then made into pendants by me as well. There were 5 but  he has added one to his personal collection of stone pendants!

Creature from the Deep!

In the middle of my fairy adventure I suddenly remembered that I had signed up for a Blog Hop with the charming Lori Anderson‘s Pretty Things Blog!

The details are on the other side! (Blogger) but here is a picture… Odd… a bit like me…

Made with a handmade hemp macramé cording knot necklace from DL Designs of Rutland and a Labradorite Cabochon from Stamford Lapidary with Silver plated copper wire.

Zebra Stone Woes…

So I wanted to polish Zebra Stone…

 

Mr A made it look so easy and he only used wet and dry paper to shape and polish the pieces he made last year. But then he has a quality I sadly lack! Patience!

On Sunday morning I started work on the end pieces I had retrieved when the slabs were cut for our rough rock shop. I had done the initial cleaning up on the flat lap and while it was a muddy process they looked great! (I looked like I had been rolling around in puddles during the Delhi Monsoons but that is another story…)

Laid out all the different grades of paper in front of me and started hand polishing. It took ages and I really couldn’t see much change from the work done on the flat lap. Where is this wonderful shine Dave managed? Obviously I had moved them on too quickly from one grade to the other. Start again? I was going to be here all day I guessed!

Then I thought I would put it on the 600 res belt on the cabbing machine. That got rid of some of the rough bits but still no shine! And this stone is so soft that it was disappearing quickly. If I carried on for long I would have no stone left to polish! And was it really supposed to take so long? I guess I was doing this all wrong! But I was determined to polish the stones without any assistance from Mr A!

 

Seeing I was getting really frustrated he suggested putting it back on the flat lap with the 1200 grit disc, instead of hand polishing on the 1200 wet and dry paper. I tried it, Lots of muddy reddish water everywhere including on me, stones still getting smaller but I was not happy!

At this point a I took a break and thought I should really let him do the polishing and I should stick to making jewellery from the stones he polishes! Since I was still mooching about in the workshop I thought I would have a go at learning how to drill holes in stones. That went reasonably well apart from one drill bit breaking and getting wedged in a piece of moss agate. Oh well!

Dave was working on our Diamond cab machine or The Diamond Geezer as he calls it! Its got oil based diamond pastes in different grits to get stones finished to a mirror like shine. Everything else had failed to give me nice stones so I thought why not? I was sure the stones would get stained with the oil and look completely horrible but these were just end pieces and if it didn’t work it didn’t work. But at least I tried!


You are an idiot Shalini!

These were all end pieces so not the best rough sample to start with, but except for the first one (with the hole) I managed to get rid of most of the pitting on the Zebra stones. And there is a nice shine. And the oil on the Diamond Geezer has not ruined the stones! AND it didn’t take long to do at all! (Which means we can keep the costs down for our customers.)

I guess I started this armed with little knowledge and that is not the easy way to do things. But I didn’t give up and I experimented with different methods till I arrived at the final satisfactory piece. I should have done more research (There is information available on the Internet!) I should have watched Dave carefully when he was polishing the Zebra Stones. And I should have asked him for advise. It would have made life easier. But despite the frustrations I am glad I persevered and found my own way! I feel a sense of achievement and I have found new confidence!

At the risk of using a cliché “Where there is a will, there IS a way!

Zebra Stone

We recently bought some beautiful Zebra stone and Printstone from Australia. Dave has been slabbing them and adding them to his rough rocks shop for other lapidaries and collectors . Obviously not ALL of it! We want to polish some ourselves and make some jewellery with it.

Dave polished Zebra stone for a bespoke order last year, but I have not had a chance to have a go since we didn’t have any left overs from the commissioned pieces. Now we do  🙂 and I have set aside these three small off-cuts for my first attempt at polishing these beautiful stones.  Hopefully I will have some pictures of successful polishing later today.

zebra-stone-pieces

 

If you would like to see the Zebra Stone and Printstone slabs available to buy do have a look at our Rough Rock Shop