Sunday, February 28, 2010

Learning from the Masters at the Gulf Coast Gem and MIneral Lapidary Shop

In every martial arts flick the master always berates the student, tells them how worthless they are, and then proceeds to punish them, again and again. Mentally flinching, I knew what the end result was going to be, as Dick moved around the row of machines and headed my way. He wanted to see my cabochons and see how I was progressing. He picked up the first one, looked at it carefully and calmly said, not the proper shape.
The next cabochon got a comment that it needed more sanding. A tiger eye stone caused him to shake his head as he said that it was too bad it had been cut wrong and probably should be thrown away, as the stone was junk.
I was batting zero for four as he picked up a piece of Texas fossilized palm wood that I had cut and shaped into a tear drop cabochon. He looked at it for a long time and finally said, "I guess this one is okay". His words of begrudging praise actually lifted my spirits as it was the first time I had received an okay from the master! Another piece and another no comment which I figured was praise in itself,(or at least he had gotten tired from all the problems he had seen).
Now I am kidding around a bit here, at Dicks expense, as I am really lucky to have the chance to learn from him and Jerrold. The two shop foreman represent over fifty plus years of lapidary expertise, and so I value their comments and suggestions.
Renita and I both are lucky to find the society, go through their lapidary training, and be able to work on gemstones. We are actually turning out some nice pieces and its hard to believe its only been a little over two months since we took our first class.
We highly recommend the Gulf Coast Gem and Mineral Society to anyone living in the area and to other winter Texans like ourselves. There are very few places in the country where you can truly learn from two such masters,(and meet so many nice people)! Clear skies.

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