Friday, January 16, 2015

The Accidental Collector - Rocks

I have always loved rocks. The small smooth tumbled agates found on the beaches of my childhood. The veins of Jasper and Quartz running along the craggy banks of the rivers around my home seemed like treasures to me. So this collection is less of an accident and more of intention.

I would not have such a spectacular collection (only a portion of it is pictured here) were it not for my maternal grandfather. His first career was as an auto dealer; when he retired from that profession he began a second career as a Lapidarist, a person who cuts, polishes and works with precious and semi-precious stones and gems.  He bought and sold stones, gems, minerals, and petrified wood from and to many places around the globe.

As a kid I can remember my grandfather wearing his work coveralls and hauling giant burlap sacks of raw materials to the work room. I can still hear the loud whining of the cutting, grinding and polishing machines. I watched him cut and work with great concentration and precision. I can recall the heavy smell of oil and rock dust.

He worked on small gleaming cabochons and giant slabs of petrified wood that depicted beautiful designs. He cut open geodes and thunder eggs to reveal stunning crystals inside. I was fascinated by it all and grew to have a deep love for these treasures from the earth.

Many of the most prized of my collection came from my grandfather, the rest I have collected over the years. Gathering them on my travels or from Ed's rocks and gems shop up the road. I love giving a small gathering of beautiful rocks and gems as presents, especially to young children who seem to understand what amazing things they are.

As I write this I realize that I have not added a new specimen to my collection in quite a while. Perhaps it is time to go rock hunting!


Jennifer Hays said...

Oh, I love your collection! It's beautiful. I really like the action figure inside the geode. My husband's grandfather was a rock enthusiast and sometimes made jewelry with the stones he collected. I've received a few pieces down through the family. My favorite is a silver bracelet with a huge oval piece of malachite.

Ashley cramp said...

Oh how I have missed the Lumberjack!
and what may i ask is a thunderball?
I have one of the 'egg like' stones with crystals inside, in my bathroom. These stones are awesome in the truest sense of the D x

sustainablemum said...

A wonderful collection. We have a small collection of rocks here too not as brightly coloured as yours all British rocks collected whilst out on walks. Thank you for introducing me to a new word I never knew a Lapidarist was one who works with rocks!

Flaming Nora said...

the Ginger one has quite a collection of rocks, gems, stones and fossils. Many of which he inhereted from his mother. Her mother's collection grew a little out of hand and had to be closed!

littlechrissy said...

Beautiful collection. The selenite diffuses the light so prettily.

Annie Cholewa said...

I'm rather enjoying these posts. And I'm wondering how many collections of 3 or more things do I have. I really have no idea!