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Rock slices in lamp shades


#1

Has anybody on Orchid worked with thin (eg 1 mm) rock slices in
place of stained glass?

Some of the natural colours and patterns of thin-sliced rocks are
excellent, especially under strong lighting.


#2

Hi Peter One of my friends made me a beautiful window decoration
with a thin piece of agate. She wrapped the edges with copper tape
and treated it like stained glass. It worked like a charm. Sheri


#3

Hi Peter,

About 30-40 years ago that was very popular and I would make then
using stain glass techniques using lead cam to do the edges and then
solder together.

Your question sure did take me back to the past!! I used agate, and
crazy lace some obsidian for contrasts.

Have fun try it !!
Robin


#4

Been there, done that back in the swinging 70’s. On request of a
client. I used copper foil and lead soldered that together rather
than traditional stained glass lead cames. One warning, ti’s gonna
be really heavy. Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#5

I haven’t made any lampshades but I have cut thin slices of rock for
guitar picks and one problem is when you are cutting thin slices is
that the slice falls down in the oil when it is cut because it can
slip between the blade and the tray that suppose to catch the slabs
so you have to get wrist deep in oil to find them…

Rick Copeland
Colorado


#6

This is exactly what I am planning on doing - I’ve been thinking
about it a lot over the last year and a half.

I see several possibilities - including backing materials on to
glass and back-cutting them into really thin slices.


#7

Hi Peter,

About 30-40 years ago that was very popular and I would make then
using stain glass techniques using lead cam to do the edges and then
solder together.

Your question sure did take me back to the past!! I used agate, and
crazy lace some obsidian for contrasts.

Have fun try it !!
Robin


#8

Peter -

I have included agate slices in stained glass side light panels and
they were very cool. I just wrapped the agate slices (they were
large) with copper foil and soldered them into the panel just like a
piece of cut glass. My friends for whom I made the panels were
delighted with the outcome.

Sincerely
Andrea Krause


#9

Peter, I have tried, but it is a real problem, finding rock or slabs,
that are large enough to not make it tedious, small work. Plus you’d
have to either slab them thin your self or find some one to do it for
you. 1 mm is pretty flimsy, even for the best of agates.

Dave Leininger


#10

Both Robin and Jo said that this was a fashion/fad/craft or ? a few
decades ago. Was that in the “macrame era”?

Does anyone have a WWW with a picture of this work? There are lots
of Tiffany lamps on WWWs and they are quite striking. But none that I
know of state that the stained glass is actually stone.

BTW, the translucency of 1 mm stone slices varies quite a lot from
what I have seen so far. Some transmit almost no light. I am going to
make a guess that the “acidic” rocks (felsic) are in general suitable
by this criterion but basic are less likely to transmit light. Anyway
I am enjoying the testing and its surprises. “Life is like a box of
rocks - you never know what you’re going to get next”.

Yes, I think super-thin slicing is an excellent idea Paul. I found
though that both 1 mm and 1/2 mm slices of nephrite transmitted a lot
of light and enhanced the stone greatly but the two samples were very
different in light-effect.

Also, a heads up on the new lighting technologies. I bought a
pocket-sized flashlight the other day and I would not want to look
directly at the beam. I do not know if they call this “laser” but it
is powerful. That is what I am using for these light tests by simply
mounting slices on a piece of cardboard and shining the flashlight
through.

Also, artistically, why think only lamps and windows? I expect
craftsmen could make many shapes and figures and implant the lights
in an aesthetic way. I wonder what a nice Buckminster Fuller Sphere
would be like made of many rock slices?

I guess it is like a combination of small stone mosaics which the
ancient Romans started (someone may correct that) and stained glass
art so the possibilities are almost endless. I plan to glass in a
carport wall and build a lean-to greenhouse beside it. Clear glass
for the entire separating wall was what I had in mind. Why not a
stone mosaic wall which transmits light; or partially coloured stone
slices and partially clear glass to see into the greenhouse?


#11

one thing people have done is tried to back thin slices of agate with
mica, muscovite, as well as the spindle sander’s particulate matter
when shaping glass, etc. at least wear a good particle mask as mica
and silicates can be hazardous to your lungs, Since the cadmium
containing low melt solder, and sal ammoniac fumes from tinning the
irons used for making stained glass,. are equally hazardous a better
mask is always a good idea, cumbersome and a pain in the butt to
actually put on, but nonetheless a good habit to get into. Some
minerals are downright toxic too- so at least look up anything you
plan to slice… rer


#12
 I have tried, but it is a real problem, finding rock or slabs,
that are large enough to not make it tedious, small work. Plus
you'd have to either slab them thin your self or find some one to
do it for you. 1 mm is pretty flimsy, even for the best of agates. 

I disagree. First of all 1 mm is not required. I cut 4 mm and a
little less with good agates and porcelain jaspers frequently. You
can get someone to cut about 3 mm, and then polish them on a flat
lap, loosing a little more, and that should be okay. The weight is
going to be the problem. Thomas III


#13

If you attach weights to the thinnish slabs before putting them on
the flat lap they will be ok. 2 sided tape works. Wrap something
around the edges to prevent chipping.

Cheers,
Karen


#14
I have tried, but it is a real problem, finding rock or slabs, that
are large enough to not make it tedious, small work

Yes it depends on the saw, Dave and of course the rock. I have no
problem slabbing up 2 x 1 1/2 inch “mosaic” pieces (for want of a
better word). So far I have used granite-like rocks (granite,
syenite, diorite) and nephrite-carrying rock from two very different
deposits. The saws are two tile-cutting wet saws from a home
improvement supplier. A few hundred dollars buys you a pretty good
saw. I did not find the work tedious. But it depends on whether you
want to go into mass production which means “think robotic”. Mind
you, I am not recommending the home improvement saw route because
the saws are designed for thin tile cutting and there are safety
issues. I rigged up a plexiglass shield just in case the blade
shattered. Take care of the safety issues with expert advice and have
some fun with experimenting is what I would recommend.

Does anyone have a favourite slabbing saw (at about 10x that budget
or more) which does well on 1 mm thick slabs or even 1/2 mm? Several
discussants mentioned mounting thin slides in some way, eg on glass.

There seem to be two paths after the mosaic pieces are mounted in
whatever way. It depends on whether they are transparent/translucent
or opaque. Sheri and others referred to sliced agates. Surely -agates
look great in cross section even opaque. But I think it was Paul who
was talking about working in super-thin slices (1/2 mm?) and shining
light through which is the second path. I have some nephrite slices
and at 2 mm they are opaque and so-so as far as aesthetics. At 1 mm
and 1/2 mm quite pretty and the two thicknesses differ in how they
react to light. But the second nephrite deposit is very different and
resists light transmission even at 1 mm. The 1 mm granites transmit
light readily and look good. Bottom line - you have to test out the
rocks to know how they will react to light.

I started thinking along these lines when I got back the
petrographic report which sent me pictures of thin slides under
magnification to confirm an abundance of actinolite-tremolite fibers.
I asked the petrographer-geologist to prepare a slide show on his
findings, which he did. Yes, you are right that 1 mm thickness is a
problem when it comes to mounting the mosaic pieces and especially
1/2 mm but it may be worth the effort if you can mass produce 1/2 mm
mosaic pieces and work out a 3D sculpting with the best that modern
lighting can offer.

I hope somebody will follow through on the related ideas tossed
around here and show us an impressive WWW or You Tube some day on a
great work of art made from transparent/translucent rock slices.


#15

Hello,

I see there was an inquiry today from aperson who uses rock slabs
and cuts them with a tile saw. Not a wise thing to do. Perhaps they
would like to buy my saw.

Rock saw. I have a Lorntone LS12C slab saw that I am not currently
usning and would like to sell. It has a 12" blade, 4 1/2" capacity
vise, power screw feed, hinged hood with window, 1/3 hp motor, and
is a bench model. It is in excellent shape. I am asking $500 for the
saw.

Thank you very much.
Kathy Bryson


#16
I see there was an inquiry today from aperson who uses rock slabs
and cuts them with a tile saw. Not a wise thing to do. 

Why is that? I know many lapidaries use tile saws, rather than pay
high prices for a gadget which spins a blade in a water tank. Not
good for slabbing, or automatic feeding, but OK for trimming slabs or
even hand-trimming rough before faceting.

Al Balmer
Pine City, NY


#17
I see there was an inquiry today from aperson who uses rock slabs
and cuts them with a tile saw. Not a wise thing to do. Why is that?
I know many lapidaries use tile saws, rather than pay high prices
for a gadget which spins a blade in a water tank. Not good for
slabbing, or automatic feeding, but OK for trimming slabs or even
hand-trimming rough before faceting. 

Not a thing wrong with using a tile saw with a few minor
adjustments. First the blade for cutting agate, and cutting ceramics,
or soft stone like most granite, or other tile material, slate,
marble etc. are two different things. The next thing is speed. Even
in trimming, a hard stone should be cut with a slower blade speed.
Last, at least of the obvious, most of the tile saws are direct drive
rather than belt driven, the motors, especially the small inexpensive
ones, burn out much quicker. You can also add a water additive in
your holding tank (Crystalcut, etc.) that will help make the cuts
smoother and help to prevent rust. I find high quality older saws on
eBay, and refurbish them. Usually just clean-up with some new
bearings, paint, a new blade appropriate to the task, and you are
ready to rock and roll. Thomas III