Thursday, January 28, 2010

More from the "You never know what you might find" file ...

To "whet your whistle" for the upcoming Field Trip to the Little Panoche Reservoir site here are some more pics!

First, some from my Field Partner, Mark:

A fine, brecciated "jasp-agate" fom the Panoche Hills

Another fine "jasp-agate" with incredible "plumes!"

A "poppy" jasper of the "Morgan Hill" variety,
collected in the Panoche Hills of Fresno County!

I recently joined the Fresno Gem & Mineral Society, and had the chance to cut and show around the "jello salad" jasper that was recently collected at the Little Panoche Reservoir site that was ferreted out by my partner Mark. He'd been looking around with Google Maps and got that old "feeling" about the area, so we went there on a day long trip in December.

Different light sources were used for each photo

Here are some pics of the pre-polished slab, complete with saw marks still intact! Yes, I WILL be polishing them out, I'm simply in a long established process of "learning the stone."

So far, there are marked variations in hardness between the darkest green areas and the largest quartz "stringers." There's a tendency to undercut, and the polish was "metallic" with tin oxide.
I expect that cerium oxide, or possibly high mesh diamond will give a mirror polish and stop the undercutting.

Will the fractures prove to be a problem or a "feature?"
Stay tuned!

As with any "new" material, there's a learning curve. I tell student lapidaries that they have to learn that most dreaded of all virtues ... PATIENCE!
I explain that, if they take the time to learn what each new material is trying to teach them, rather than simply "bullying" the stone, they'll save trouble, sweat, blood (literally!) and most importantly, valuable material.
You never know, especially in the case of alluvial materials, whether you'll ever find a comparable piece. So, to end my lecture, I say simply; Treat every stone as "precious."

My other advice for today? Plan to attend the February 27th Field trip! Email me for more info!

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