Monday, May 27, 2013

Slabbing and Cabbing....

So this week I got some good things accomplished, including finishing up some cabs I'd had sitting in my studio for a while. I still have a handful left to finish, but feel good that the end is in sight... Take a look at my etsy store if you're interested in purchasing any- they're a large cabochon group this time:

Blue opal in feldspar, ruby in zoisite, ocean jasper, cheetah agate and imperial jasper.

I also got some slabbing done- this is my 10" monster slab saw from Harbor Freight. I bought the yellow garden cart from Lowe's to hold/transport it and I wheel it in and out of my storage room. The chair in back of it is to hold the bucket of water for pumping clean water on to the saw blade to keep it cool and to keep the rock from producing harmful dust.

It's pretty loud and messy- so using it outdoors is a requirement. My neighbors are probably glad when I'm done with a cutting session! 

Today I slabbed some rough pieces of bumblebee jasper, Washington state jade, ribbon turquoise, and Morgan Hill poppy jasper.

The Morgan Hill poppy jasper is some of my favorite. I am not usually keen on these colors, but for some reason the patterns and colors really appeal to me. Unfortunately, this stone comes with a lot of healed fractures, some of which can deter from the look of the finished cab, because it looks cracked. But if these slabs can make it through the slabbing process, they're stable enough to turn into cabs. You can see the fragments to the right that broke off along fracture lines while slabbing. When I receive pre-cut slabs, I often drop them from a foot above the concrete floor. Whatever doesn't break is usable for cabs.

This was from a huge chunk of ribbon turquoise. They will make interesting cabs!

This jade from Washington was very hard. I love the color- it's so soothing. And it has cool black inclusions.

I also did some slabbing for a friend of mine, Maureen, a former student, who went rock-hunting in California (Mohave Desert) and found what she thought/hoped/prayed was turquoise. I slabbed a bunch for her, and unfortunately for her, it's likely chrysocolla. Still a great find!

The ribboning is really cool, isn't it?

These slices are probably the bluest and prettiest. The contrast between the turquoise color and brown is really nice. They were nice and soft to slab, and will make some nice cabs.


  1. I love reading about your metal work :) It's really inspirational. I need to pick up my jewelry making again some time.

  2. Fascinating article. I love the incredible variety of stones you showcase here. What fun it must be to take a slab and turn it into beautiful cabochons!

  3. Thanks, ladies! It IS fun to go from start to finish on a chunk of rock that no one in the world has ever looked into before me! I feel like it's my secret treasure!