It was a petoskey stone back in the mid 70′s I found that peaked my interest in rocks. I was visiting my Grandfather, who lived on Burt Lake in Indian River, Michigan, a small northern town. I showed my Grandpa (as I called him) and he took it into his workshop. There, he had a polishing wheel of some sort as I recall, and after several minutes of buffing the stone on the wheel, he handed me the polished petoskey. It was my prized possession. The beach of Burt Lake on his property was full of various kinds of stone and I would spend the bulk of my time there, combing the beach for Petoskey and Pudding Stones. These were the only kind of stones I knew at that time.
I grew up in a suburb of Detroit and back home, I did not have any place to look for cool rocks like I had found “up north”. I don’t know what it was about finding rocks back then, but I loved it and that love stuck with me. I think it was the closest thing to treasure hunting I could get to.
Years past and I started my own family. My oldest son, took an interest in fossils and we began collecting them. We would go to Lake Michigan and local streams and hunt for rocks. This renewed my interest in rock hunting and gave me something to share with my son. We found all kinds of rocks of interest and even a few arrowheads. We began researching and trying to identify the specimens we had collected. I decided to buy a rock tumbler and pretty soon had two going at a time. As I became impatient with the length of time to finish a batch of polished rocks, I began to research making marbles online. I ended up buying a Covington Little Sphere machine, along with a 10″saw and grinding wheels from money I made from composing music for a local commercial. They weren’t cheap for a guy with an income like mine, but I had a blast making those little balls of stone. It was a hell of a lot of work and that Covington machine is a serious pain in the ass to run, but the results were pretty darn good. Of course, I wanted to make larger ones after a while and ended up buying a three headed home made machine from a great guy I contacted online. He took the time to explain everything I needed, where to go for supplies and how to cut the sphere pre-forms. He went above and beyond. It was really great and helped me a lot.
So here I am, a few years later since I began. I’m closer to my family and we take a lot of little trips together hunting rocks and hanging out at the beach. I live in a great state full of interesting finds. Where I used to curse the state because of the often terrible weather and cold winters, I now have a much greater appreciation for it.
I love to look at pictures of things I find of interest and plan on posting a ton of pictures. I hope to post interviews with other sphere makers, lapidary artists, and other people and things I find cool and fun. I hope you will enjoy the site!