It took a long time, after decades of jewelry making, to become interested in the Lapidary. My Grandfather did it. My mom did it. As for me, I just figured I'd buy the pretties at the gem shows and cut to the chase with the fun of the jewelry making. Stone finding was always fun but the polishing really seemed like the dirty work.
So yeah, this was the guy who first taught me to solder. I made my first ring in the upstairs loft of his machine shop. Lapidary is rough, this guy didn't seem to mind at all. I really really learned to love rough (insert rock hound pun there).
Some people see a rock here. Other people wonder how many different, incredible worlds reside inside this piece of 'rough'. Blue agate co-mingles with red striations of mineral. Plumes of white, black, yellows, reds, and even green with Marcasite dance through changing hues and rippling of the agate. Top it all off with some Druzy Quartz pockets of fun and I just went weak in the knees.
Lapidary artists typically use tools and machines to polish the stones by hand (instead of tumbling or other method where one loses control of the stone). I like to literally hold on to the stone while shaping and polishing it. This leads to not having finger nails and sometimes finger prints as well. A method of holding the stone, especially when it's too small for fingers, is called 'dopping'. These are a bouquet of dopped stones just finishing polish. Those of you who have been in the gallery when I said I would never dop, well, that day has come.
Come see what jewelry happens with these little guys and what happens to the big piece of rough in my hand that has become much smaller and pretty amazing.