Hi Jane! There’s a world of material out there to enjoy! If you’d
like to explore harder materials, garnet, beryl, a whole rainbow
of quartzes: rose, yellow, green gold, neon green, smoky,
rutilated… and their cousins agate, jasper and chalcedony. Fire
agate lends itself to sinuous forms. You might get some insight
into freeform carving from my article on fire agate in the May
Eclectic Lapidary (just click on the file cabinet for the
archives) and Rick Martin’s article on cutting fire agate in the
I’d recommend Dick Friesen’s series, Introduction to Cabbing
(Feb, March, April, 1997) first, to get an overall understanding
of basic lapidary techniques. Since you’ve already gotten this
far on your own, you have probably discovered a lot of the basics
for yourself. Still, never know which piece of info might make it
all easier for you.
Jade is a possibility, but has its own quirks for cutting and
polishing. Magnesite (aka ‘lemon chrysoprase’) is a softer
material. Some is solid yellow to yellow green and others have
interesting patterns of brown throughout.
For polishing in tight folds… phenolic tips with a Foredom or
Dremel and increasingly fine grits of diamond compound with
extending fluid. (Keep a separate tip for each grit.) For opal,
cerium oxide on a bullet shaped felt tip. Johnson’s M-5 does
wonders for final polish on a wide range of materials.
So welcome to lapidary! Hope some of these ideas are helpful.
| Carol J. Bova @Carol_J_Bova |
| http://www.bovagems.com/ Faceted Gemstones |
| Lapidary rough - Ask about laguna agate special!|
| P.O.Box 5388 Glendale, CA 91221-5388 USA |
| Publisher of The Eclectic Lapidary e-zine |