I had acquired a bunch of recycled glass rock, some call by the made up name “Andara crystal” from an estate sale not too long ago. I wanted to do something with them and didn’t know what, until I walked by a demo display of a high gloss resin in Lowes. They had a display of this resin that had been poured over rocks to make a step. It is strong stuff and is commonly used for bar countertops. I had an idea to use the resin to glue these glass rocks together, and then put it through the sphering process, much like I do with my rocks. I had a 4 inch rubber mold that I used for my first one, then I made a larger mold out of a 6 x 6 inch cardboard box. It was a lot more work than I had expected, but they ended up pretty good. I had to soak them in alcohol to get some of the cerium oxide polish out of the cracks and pits which is just the nature of this material. I will probably make more of these in the future. The orange one was made with common glass beans you can buy at many common stores.
I am alive still. For those people who follow my blog (thanks, Mom), I just wanted to say after a long hiatus, that I plan to update this thing regularly once again. I took some time off, and my sphere machine broke. I put a bandaid on it for the time being, but I need to replace a motor. I plan on getting another machine going soon also. So stay tuned for more spheremaking on the way! In the meantime, I recently purchased a 3 in 1 lens kit for my iphone 4. I paid $15 but you can get it for under $10 at the moment here: http://www.amazon.com/180%C2%B0-Angle-Macro-Apple-iPhone/dp/B009UQR32I/ref=pd_sim_cps_5 It’s a knock off brand, but is quite great for the money. I took some shots of some cullet glass I had and thought I would share the results.
In addition to stone, I really love the look of glass. Its amazing material and can look incredibly beautiful as a sphere. I collect as much of it as I can get and recently purchased over 100 pounds of recycled glass (cullet, slag) chunks (mostly blue and green colored ones but some purple and reds as well) at a great price. As beautiful as it is, it can be difficult to work. I should probably wear gloves when working with it because I always end up slicing a finger tip or something. I had actually made it through the entire process with no injuries on this one…until clean up. Then, I sliced the tip of my finger on a chunk of scrap. No guitar playing for a week or so. But it was worth it. I love how this sphere turned out. The hardest part after cutting it for me is the final polish to remove scratches. I use my custom made leather cups with cerium oxide polish. After running it wet, I let it dry out some and heat up a bit to seal up any scratches. So theres my secret. And here are the pics:
My next stickers: “Shiniest Balls Online”
I took some time off from work to work on some of my music side projects and an iphone app I’ve been working on. But I couldn’t help but make some time to grind out some stone work! I got a request to make some custom pendants from a couple folks from work which is always nice to hear. Of course while I’m making the pendants I had to tend to a few spheres as well to make the best use of my time. The pictures are below. I was really shocked by how the Chrysocolla sphere turned out. I have never worked with this material before and from the outer appearance of the rock it appeared to be mostly black…until I cut into it. I’ll attach the original picture of the black chrysocolla rock as well. I could use some help on getting the crosses to turn out better. I do everything on the wheel. If anyone out there has any suggestions to help me get better drop me an email from the contact section. I’m all ears!
I braved a winter storm a couple days ago and drove from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Bancroft, Michigan some 90 miles away to attend an Estate sale. It was near white out conditions in spots but I got there in one piece. And man, was I glad I did. The gentleman who had passed away was an avid rock hound and had a basement, garage and outbuilding full of various rocks, gems, glass, and machinery. I would have loved to have known that man as I’m sure he could have taught me a lot and had some great tales of adventure to share. I got some great deals and would have bought more but one guy in particular (probly some sort of ebay re-seller) picked up damn near everything he could get his mitts on. Luckily I was able to grab a few prizes for myself. The only bummer of the morning was I missed out on some huge Petoskey stones as I mistakenly believed they would take credit cards and had to run to the bank for some quick cash. Anyway, as always, I’ve included plenty of pictures of my purchases. I paid $124 for all the rocks and some small pieces of glass cullet. The rest of the glass in the pictures came from another source recently and I paid another $120 for those (including shipping). If you know what some of the proper names of the rocks are pictured below that I don’t have properly labeled feel free to comment or drop me a private message.
Stay tuned as I’ll be cutting these up soon and be making some spheres and things!