So How Did Our Gem Stone Crosses Turn Out

In a previous post I described how we cut the crosses out of green Aventurine, since then we cut some more out Orange Aventurine, Rose Quartz, Sodalite and Lapis Lazuli, just to get the feel for using different materials for making crosses.

A while ago I started learning how to make gem stone crosses, at times it was frustrating and there were a few casualties along the way.

In a previous post I described how we cut the crosses out of green Aventurine, since then we cut some more out Orange Aventurine, Rose Quartz, Sodalite and Lapis Lazuli, just to get the feel for using different materials for making crosses.

One thing I did learn was to use smaller tools for this type of work, the expanding drums on the cab machine are too harsh, so as it turned out was the felt polishing wheel.

So I used small felt bobs mounted in the Fordom Flex shaft to sand and polish these pieces, for the sanding I used progressive grades of diamond paste on the felt bobs then finished off with cerium oxide as a polish.

As I said there were a few casualties along the way, the first happened a while back before I figured out to use the felt bobs as the one below fractured on the felt polishing wheel.

This one fractured when it was being polished
This one fractured when it was being polished

The second one fractured when I was trying to drill a hole for a jump ring to go through, Rose Quartz seems to be very fragile in this type of work, but it’s more than likely just me.

This cross fractured when it was being drilled
This cross fractured when it was being drilled

Anyway those that survived are below, I know they could be better but that’s what learning is all about and you don’t learn if you don’t try!

Gem stone crosses - our first attempt
Gem stone crosses – our first attempt

I will do more of these when time allows and I am sure the next batch will be much better.

All the best

Dave

Amethyst Gem Stone Tree – First Attempt

So I decided to have a go at making a gem tree out of some Amethyst tumble stones

I have been wondering for a while about what I can do with all these tumble stones that we have, mainly the ones that are too small for jewellery or not good enough for jewellery.

So I decided to have a go at making a gem tree out of some Amethyst tumble stones.

Amethyst Gem Tree
Amethyst Gem Tree

First of all I found an end piece of Amethyst left over from a lump that had been slabed, a nice flat face on one side to serve as the base and rough on top, then I “borrowed” some of Shalini’s silver plated copper wire, 0.8mm, to make the tree out of.

As you can see I cut 12 lengths of the wire, six being shorter than the other six and left about 2 inches protruding at the bottom before I started to wrap the trunk.

One I had wrapped the trunk, I splayed the shorter bits at the end so they would go over the rough top of the base slab, after much bending a poking about to get the “roots” sitting on the slab properly I then used Devcon Epoxy to glue it in place, I used too much of this and it ended up a bit messy, read on to see how I hid this.

Next I selected the tumble stones that I wanted to use and started to attach them onto the branches, I found that by making a large loop at the end of the branch and then tightening the loop around the stone, it would stay in place while it was glued with the epoxy.

Now I had to go and hide the mess I made at the bottom, this was easily done using small tumble stones glued into place.

As I said this is the first attempt and I hade to figure out how to do it as I went along and I learnt much for the next time and there will be a next time because we have so many tumble stones to use up. Actually I am quite pleased at the finished item.

Stamford Artisans Guild Christmas Fair 6th December 2009

I wrote a short post recently about the Stamford Artisans Guild, now I am reporting back on the recent Christmas Craft Fair that was held on the 6th December in the Stamford Arts Centre.

I wrote a short post recently about the Stamford Artisans Guild, now I am reporting back on the recent Christmas Craft Fair that was held on the 6th December in the Stamford Arts Centre.

The show was organised by my wife Shalini and three other ladies, Lorna, Sharon and Amanda, they put lots of effort into the organisation and publicity off the fair, and it paid off big time.

At the outset, there was very strict criteria laid down for who could take part, notably, everything had to be hand made by the person who was exhibiting and they had to based in Stamford or within a 25 mile radius, although there were a few people who were there from further afield.

The Arts Centre was full, they sold 31 stalls to various crafters covering all manner of skills from jewellery, wood turners, photographers and of course me with my lapidary.

Shalini was even approached a few days before the event by BBC Radio Lincolnshire for an interview about the Fair. The interview was conducted over the phone and Shalini did en excellent job of describing the Guild and its aims.

Everyone arrived around 8AM to start setting up and the doors were due to open to the public at 10AM, but because of the great job they did of publicising the event, members of the public started coming at 9:30AM, people were still putting the finishing touches to their stalls.

During the day their was a steady flow of visitors, I have no idea how many there actually were, but the whole place was buzzing throughout the day and all stall holders were very happy at the end of the day, a good level of sales was achieved and many good contact were made by almost everyone involved.

The organisers had requested the Arts Centre café to open on the day, normally they are closed on Sunday’s, anyway the Café was sold out by 2:30PM such was the level of demand for refreshments and food.

The event closed at 4PM officially, but even as everyone was packing up there will still visitors coming in which was great.

If you would like to learn more about the Stamford Artisans Guild or its activities to date please visit their web site at:

http://www.stamfordartisansguild.co.uk/

All the best

Dave