Does It Make Me A Braggart When I Proclaim “I have the shiniest balls on the internet!”?

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”

Giant Petoskey Fossil Sphere

I found this giant rock a month or so back in Lake Michigan near South Haven, MI. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was at first as it had a very greenish hue. The rock was too big for my saw but I cut it anyway and was pleasantly surprised to see a fair amount of Petoskey stone embedded in the otherwise fossil laden matrix. After a very rough cut, I ground it down a bit on my grinding wheel then threw it into the sphere machine. I’m glad it was a soft rock or this thing would have taken forever as out of round as it first was. Once I started this one, I had to see it through til the end. Total time just under 4 hours. Not bad. And boy is it a beauty!. It is about 3.85 inches in diameter. Check it out! I also made a few Jasper pendants.

Petoskey Stone Spheres

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.

Petoskey Stone Spheres

The Most Beautiful Lake Michigan Stone Ever Found!

It was an incredible hot March day of 83 degrees today. I took my daughter to Van Buren State Park on Lake Michigan today to walk up and down the beach. The landscape had changed a bit since last fall and a lot of new rocks had washed up on shore in new spots. Much closer to the main entrance this year. I did not have to go far to find the first Petoskey of the season. We stayed about an hour or so and the last rock I found was by wading in about two feet of water. I thought it was one of the many bricks in the water at first until I picked it up. It was the bright orange color that caught my eye. I have never seen anything remotely looking like this rock before. I think it is amazing and would really like to know what it is. The orange color of the crystals are stunning. It doesn’t appear to be an agate material at all more of a quartz I would guess. Please drop a comment or send me an email if you know what it is! I believe it to be the most beautiful Lake Michigan Stone ever found! (by me at least… :) )

***UPDATE***
3-28-12: The sphere of this stone is done. Check out the new pics here: http://spheremaker.com/whoa/

Bruneau Jasper Sphere

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.

Thunder Egg Spheres

I always thought Thunder Eggs were beautiful. I hadn’t seen one in person until recently but I’ve loved looking at the pictures of cut pieces online over the years. I haven’t seen too many sphered as I imagine they look best sliced in half, but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway. I bought a couple larger ones (about two pounds each) from Oregon. I don’t know a ton more about them than just that. I think they turned out pretty nice. They ended up looking like little planets to me. What do you think?

I also had a couple sand stones and an unfinished ugly conglomerate stone I had found on Lake Michigan. I decided to finish those and they are pictured also.

Slag Glass Spheres, Pendants and More Spheres!

I took the week off of work and felt the urge to hit the shop and hammer out some new spheres. I still have plenty of my Muskegon Slag glass and a couple other pieces I had purchased. One cool orange one and another clear old school coke bottle colored cullet glass I believe its called. It took the better part of the day (about 10 hours!) and maybe 8 hours the next day, manning my two three headed machines and grinding out the pendants but I think most turned out pretty good. The clear glass ones had some scratches on them I couldn’t seem to get rid of for some reason. Maybe I will try again. My back, hands and feet get sore as hell if I put too much time in. I try to keep it no more than five hour stretches at a time. Hope you enjoy the photos. I’ll probably end up putting a few of the pendants up on Etsy. My wife has already laid claim to a few of them!

If anyone knows where I can get more colored slag like the orange and red pieces shown, drop me an email from the contact link! Cool stuff!

Identify This Stone!

I found this rock in Lake Michigan in Charlevoix, Michigan. I wish I had taken a picture of what it looked like before I cut it, but did not. Here are some pictures of it after I cut it, after I polished it, and close up. If you know what kind of rock it is, please let me know! I have not been able to identify this one. I have never found anything similar in Michigan before.