Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rock Tumbling

As I wrote on the 6th of January, we traveled to the coast for the purpose of collecting rocks/stones along the beach. These are not those we brought back, but rather some that were in process, and this is the before photo.

Rock tumbling generally takes 4-5 weeks in a minimum 4-step process. Part of that procedure is wearing away the hard edges of a rock through continuous tumbling inside a rubber-lined barrel with water and a selection of abrasive grits. The final stages of the tumbling include a washing cycle, followed by one using a polishing powder and tiny plastic pellets.

Some rocks may not turn out so well due to their porosity and for other reasons unknown to me. For example, in the upper photo, the largest dark gray stone with a light gray band did not turn out as we expected. It may find its way back for another tumble.

We are in awe of the finished product, the beauty, color, and individuality of each, be it the translucent agates, jasper, a piece of polished petrified wood. . . as they are displayed on a round light-toned myrtle wood tray on the kitchen table or in a simple jar or shallow glass bowl. Friends have enjoyed the same as a gift from us, and several selected simply one to carry as a soothing stones.

And at some point I may take a few of my favorites and have them made into pendants. Do you see the agates?