Friday, August 28, 2009

The Polished Pebble - Day Off To Can Tomatoes

Well, I have officially taken the day off from the lapidary part of my life today. I am instead, Canning Tomatoes - Pasta Sauce to be official.

So, I will leave you with some pictures from my garden..........................

A large group of dragonflies call my garden home. They are quite the sight to see when they are all inflight over the garden.

The finished product - got pasta & bread?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Polished Pebble - Living With Stone

We are surrounded with stone in our daily lives. From the granite counter tops in our kitchens & baths - to the stone walkways we traverse. Stone columns, stone accented planters & more.

Now imagine that your chosen path in life it to work directly with stone. To choose, cut & shape, grind & polish. Our life here at The Polished Pebble is consumed with stone. And we love it - most the time.

Working with stone teaches you many life lessons. So we thought we would take some time to share..........

Never judge a rock by it's outside appearance. Kind of like the saying "Don't judge a book by it's cover". With stone it has much the same meaning. Oh, we do look for certain signs on the outside. But, most the time, you need to look past the outside coating to see the true beauty within.

Perfection is a myth. We all strive for perfection. And you should always do the best you can do - no matter what. But, flaws are sometimes unavoidable. Work with them or around them. I have yet to find a rock that was truly perfect in every way. Same with people.

Quality in - Quality out. Remember the old saying "You can't make a silk purse out of a pig's ear"? Well, that holds true with stone or gemstones also. If you start out with fractured or pitted rough stone you will end up with junk. And it takes just as much time to work junk as it does primo rough - so why waste your time?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just because you think a piece is beautiful doesn't mean that everyone shares your opinion. We all have our own likes & dislikes, favorite colors & styles. Try to see beyond your own world. Reaching more people or customers takes effort & imagination.

Cheap is NOT best. The equipment that we work with is expensive & things have to be replaced often when you are using them a lot. Trying to cut corners or substitute poor quality or cheaper made items (ie - diamond saw blades, diamond grinding & polishing wheels, motors & such) never seems to save us money in the long run. They always end up not lasting as long or not working as good. I guess you could go back to the "Quality" issue here too.

Follow Your Heart. Sounds corny doesn't it. But if you spend your life doing what others want you to do & never do the things that you love - what's the point? Don't get me wrong, there are many thing throughout life that we HAVE to do. And many are NOT fun. But you need to make the time for the things you love - you & you alone are responsible for your happiness.

Remember to check out our website at

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Polished Pebble - Working With Stone

Most people, when you talk about Gemstones, think Diamonds, Sapphires, Rubies & such. Faceted stones. Few will think - Agate, Jasper or any of the other wonderful stones used to make Gemstone Cabochons.

Faceted Gemstone Parcel

Truth be told, the first Gemstones used for personal ornamentation (jewelry) were these agates, jaspers, lapis, opals, quartz, jade, etc, etc.......... Rounded & polished to show of their rainbow of colors & designs. And only for the royalty. It wasn't until recent history that faceted gems became the standard for Gemstones.

Far from the signature "Bolo Tie" Cabochon. Today's Gemstone Cabochons come in many shapes & designs. While they still may be made of agate or jasper - they are just as likely to be made of unusual and beautiful minerals that until recently would never have even been considered usable in jewelry. And many of the new "Artist" style cabochons can stand alone as a Work Of Art.

Birdseye Rhyolite Gemstone Cabochon

And because of advanced mining & transportation thru out the world, we have new finds of beautiful stone available for use. Ocean Jasper - Madagascar, Royal Sahara Jasper - Africa, Condor Agate - Argentina, Cherry Creek Jasper - China and the list could go on & on. Not to mention all the wonderful stone right here in the US - old standards & new discoveries.

Royal Sahara Jasper Gemstone Cabochon

Finally it seems, that the lowly Cabochon is being seen for the true beauty it has to give. Being natural does not have to be drab & boring. There are many stones that offer MORE than just sparkle - check them out!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Polished Pebble - The Long Drawn Out Process.......

Welcome to the newest facet of "The Polished Pebble"! We have been working to expand our presence on the WEB. So, here is a little background & the direction we are working towards.

"The Polished Pebble" is the heart & soul of our fledgling Lapidary Business. A lifelong love of beautiful stone lead to the start of this adventure.

We uncover mother nature's artwork by carefully cutting & hand polishing the most amazing agates, jaspers & other wondrous stones. Finding just the right cut to highlight the natural design in the stone. Providing designer style Gemstone Cabochons for jewelry artists. Pieces that are simply not available anywhere else.

Natural stone adornments have been used thru out history for their beautiful colors & designs. Most of what we work with is classified as "Semi-Precious" Stone. A lot of the pieces come from locations that make acquiring rough stone difficult & dangerous work. Some stone has been completely mined out (extinct) or the location may not be open to collection (private, military base, wilderness, etc.) so what is currently available may be it. Making it more RARE than diamonds.

In addition, the designs are ONE OF A KIND. That is the true beauty & sometimes heartbreak of working with stone. It is never boring.

There are thousands of different stones that we will be working into beautiful pieces of art. To that end, we will use this space to update you on our journey & share what is going on. Along with a little education & background on specific stones.

Please feel free to join in. And if you have some stone you think we might be interested in - please drop us a line at

Be sure to check out our website too.