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!