I mostly make gemstone focal beads, starting with rough rock that I saw, grind, sand, drill, and polish by hand using motor driven diamond cutting tools. Lapidary work, or stone cutting, has been going on since humans first picked up stones. In the post WWII period in America the lapidary craft was taken up by "rockhounds" who collected unusual stones across the country and manufactured their own tools to cut and polish their finds. I learned the lapidary craft from old timer rockhounds at a Rock & Gem Club in Jackson, Michigan back in the 1970's. Cutting stones isn't easy and requires a lot of patience and practice. Unlike other crafts, lapidary artists find that every stone they work with is different in some way. Due to the expense of the tools, lack of organized instructors, and the amount of time required to obtain proficiency there aren't many people involved in the lapidary arts as a craft and form of expression.DVHdesigns Web site
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