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Talking Stones

Jeff Fulkerson

Posted on April 27 2018

I love to cut cabochons.  I enjoy the entire process from getting the stones, whether slabs or rough, shaping them and finally polishing them.  To me the entire process is like a treasure hunt; you never know what you’ll find.

                One of the cool things about buying a rock is seeing if the inside matches the outside.  I’ve bought rocks that looked interesting on the outside, but when you cut into them, the interior doesn’t reveal much.  I bought a promising chunk of fossilized dinosaur bone once and couldn’t wait to get it home and cut some cabs out of it.  After the first cut, I knew I had a very expensive paper weight.  The stone just crumbled.

                On the other end of the scale, I once bought a fist size piece of turquoise rough that showed a little line of blue.  When I cut into it, JACKPOT! That little strip of blue opened up into some AMAZING material and I got 7 or 8 of the most gorgeous cabs out of it.

                It’s kind of like people.  Although some people are rough on the outside, they have a tender heart.  Others offer a lot of promise, but when you get to know them, they’re worthless.  And then there’s the occasional treasure.  You meet someone, and as you dig deeper and get to know them, they turn out to be the salt of the earth.

                An interesting thing to me is that when I’m cutting a cab, many times I don’t just draw a standard shape from a template on the rock.  I like to let the stone speak to me about how I should cut and shape it.  If you want to get the most out of your material, you have to follow where it leads.  And sometimes to get the best, you have to sacrifice other areas that look good, but they’re not the best. It takes a little more work, but I think it’s worth it in the end.

                Again, you have to take time with people to bring out the best in them.  Most of us don’t spontaneously open up. We need to be coaxed.  We need to know you are listening to us.  That’s when you get the best from people.

                Most people, like most rocks, fall somewhere in between treasure and paper weight.  All of which keeps me coming back for more, whether it’s rocks or people. Let’s face it; you can’t let one bad rock spoil the whole basket, just like you shouldn’t let one bad person keep you from seeking out others. Most people, like most rocks, while maybe not a treasure, are certainly worth spending a little time to get to know so you can have a hand in bringing out the best in them.               

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1 comment

  • John Kruzel : May 10, 2018

    I too get a lot of satisfaction grinding cabs. Some of the poorest looking stones can turn out to be amazing with a beautifull polish.
    Keep up the good work.
    John

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