Monday, May 5, 2008
It's called rock tumbling, and it means taking your average rock from the road, or cliff, or water, from along train rails, in the forests and mountains, and particularly mines, and turning them through the method of tumbling into highly polished and desirable stones. Most of them end up becoming semi-precious stones, like jasper, agates, moonstone, through the polishing process.
Take a batch of rough stones like on this picture and turn them into something gorgeous
Are you drolling yet? :)
And once you have these miracles, you can do all sorts of things with them, turn them into wire wrapped jewelry (think me), put them as pretties around fountains, keep them in your pocket, give them to kids, make raffles with them, or sell them. There are thousands of jewelry makers out there who don't have the equipment to tumble the stones themselves, so they buy them.
Tumbling takes a good few weeks of non-stop work in the machine, so you really need to be patient until you get - some - results. Good thing too as right now I couldn't afford yet another hobby - or occupation after work, as I'm already 'fully booked'.
Now I think I'm doing it just the opposite as the most 'normal' people are, lol. Usually one starts from rockhounding (go find the rocks yourself and beware of snake bites and accidents), then goes off to tumble polishing, then cabing (not even going there!), and with all those gorgeous stones, one gets the need to do something with them, thus picks up wire wrapping. The border wrapping sort, mind you.
Me, started from seedbeading, off to wrapping, 'art style' wrapping, and as of lately I'm hooked on border wrapping (see style I used for the raffle in my other post). And now comes tumble polishing. Go figure.
So right now I'm looking forward to receive my double-barrel tumbler (yes, I already have one single barrel for tumbling my jewelry), the grit used in smoothing out the edges and surface of the rock (the chemical equivalent of the nature doing it in thousands of years, here you do it within a few weeks), and the rocks I've ordered online. My bank account has thinned out considerably, but who cares, when I'm just facing my new addiction :P
If you're ever interested in rock tumbling, I've found the best forum on the net on the subject, the knowledge there is just amazing. Or check out another good forum on rock tumbling, cabing, faceting and wire wrapping.