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.
Is spheremaking is an art, a craft, a mind numbing test of my patience? I like to think, God made the art, and I am just restoring it. Here are a few pics of my latest restorations:
I found the rock I made this sphere from in Lake Michigan off the shore of Charlevoix, MI. It is one of my favorite spots to find Petoskey stones but that day I stumbled across this beauty. I haven’t seen one like this before, especially with the greens in it. So if you happen to know what it is made of, please drop me a note or leave a comment. Anyway, I hope you think it is cool as I think it is!
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I have been extremely busy and haven’t had much time for sphering lately, but I did manage to grind out a trifecta of Petoskey stone spheres last week. The three rough stones were given to me by a new friend and fellow rockhound. He specializes in making stone cabinet knobs which are quite stunning using native Michigan Petoskey and Septarian stones. If he had a website, I would link to it, but alas, he does not. He gave me three Petoskey stones, I sphered them and he got first pick. They ranged in size from 1.65 inch to about 2.4 inches in diameter. I kept the remaining two (the smaller ones). They can be found for sale on my Etsy page by clicking here.
I finally got around to making this sphere from the rock depicted in this previous post: http://spheremaker.com/the-most-beautiful-lake-michigan-stone-ever-found/
I was hesitant to make it because the rough rock was so killer looking and I didn’t and still don’t know what it is. I’ve had some knowledgable folks chime in that it may be basalt, chert, calcite, carnelian, and/or garnet. I imagine its tough to identify from pictures alone. It was harder than I thought it would be, but not as hard as say an agate. The crystals fractured like they do when I would sphere a quartz based rock, which I find many in Michigan. I was hoping it would be crystal in the center but it was not. The sphering process ground off a lot of crystal, but I still think it turned out nice. Interesting thing, it had a lot of little slivers of metal within it. Pyrite maybe? Silver? Who knows. One of my favorites I’ve done though. What do you think?
I have way too much stone for me to ever work on all of it. I would like to trade what I have for something I have never worked on before. For some reason, Copralite sounds like the shit and I’d like to make a sphere out of it for the novelty. So if you have some Copralite or something else crazy, beautiful or just plain unordinary, I’d love to trade if you see something you’d like to have in the pictures.
What I have. I have a ton of Michigan slag in blue, green, grey, and black and anything in between. I have an abundance of Florida agatized coral, including rocks, chunks, chips and display type specimens. A couple of them are geodes. I have a ton of Lake Michigan beach rock including about every color and kind imaginable and cut scraps from spheres I have made (great for tumbling, crafts, etc). I have a 5 gallon bucket of Petoskey stones. A couple nice pieces of Picasso Marble enough for many many cabs. Some small to medium sized carnelian from Washington state. Quite a few Michigan Septarians (clay rock/calcite).
If you see something you’d like feel free to contact me. I’m mainly looking for small to medium rocks large enough to make a sphere or marble in the 1.5 – 4 inch range. I don’t have a large saw so I can’t really handle much bigger than that for now. If an item gets traded, I’ll take down the photo.
***update 3-28-12***: Petoskeys, Septarians, and Picasso Marble are gone. I’ll have more Petoskeys and Septarians by summers end!
Some may recall this rock I got from the estate sale a few months back. I don’t have a large enough saw to cut a large stone like this to prep it properly for sphering so I had to hack away at this one and grind the hell out of it. It took an extra long while to rough it round but it turned out pretty good…although I introduced some scratches during the polishing phase some how (which is frustratingly become more prevalent lately) I may have to go back and fix it. I’m also displaying it on this cool Orthoceras fossil stand. What do you think? But for now here are some pix.
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!