Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Making Mud by Grinding Rocks: Our First Lapidary Class
I was working on the older diamond grinder and Renita was making her own cabochon on a new Genie work station. We had first sawed a slab of our rocks and then scribed it with an aluminum scibe, to mark the outer limit of the pattern.
From there we had gone to the trim saw and cut off the edges and using the edge of the diamond blade we were able to work the rock closer and closer to the oval shape.
All total I had been working the same piece for about one and a half hours when the first fracture appeared. I continued to grind away hoping to remove the imperfection when the cabochon broke into two equal pieces. Jerrold, our instructor and the Gem Society's shop foreman, walked over and said, "Happens sometimes with turitella", and so I started over on a new piece.
It was really ok as I had gotten to turn some rock into powder, which mixed with the cutting water formed a nice mud! It was about what I expected on the first night and that's fine as I had learned so much already.
Renita mean while was patiently grinding her cabochon nearer and nearer into shape and I remembered what Jerrold had said, "The man often finishes first but the women usually makes a nicer cab". I didn't doubt it at all and really expected his prediction.
The new piece worked a lot faster then the old and after two and a half hours in class we both were finished with the coarse grinding and secondary sanding. Jerrold told us that we could store the future cabs in the shop and said that eventually we could make a cab in twenty minutes. Hmmmmm.
We both agreed that it had been a lot of fun and we both look forward to next weeks class. Oh, and if my cabochon self destruct again, that's ok. I will just use a different rock,(and it was a nice colored mud)! Clear skies.