Saturday, March 26, 2011
Lessons in Jade
After an hour he put the jade down and left. The next day he returned and was handed another piece of jade. Again he left after a while. This went on for quite some time. One day, after arriving at the store, the chinaman handed him a rock that wasn't jade and so the man demanded his money back. The lawyer told him to forget the lawsuit as the chinaman had earned his fees.
As soon as we entered the door we were met by his charming wife Suzie,an artist in her own right, whose medium was wood, tapestry, and sculpture. Warren proudly showed us his jade set that he called ,"Endangered Species", which was a set of four jade carvings of Texas animals that had neared the brink of extinction. They both told us stories of Jade hunting near Jeffery City and proudly held the first pieces of jade they had discovered.
He also told us that a lot of the highest quality jade left Wyoming for China where it was carved and worked into much that we see today. Of that the most prized was the green imperial Wyoming jade and the black Edwards jade, both rarely seen ,(although many dealers sell any black Wyoming jade as Edwards jade).
Of course we had forgotten our maps and so we asked if we could return the following week to go over places to prospect and also to learn some of his jade carving and polishing techniques. He kindly agreed and said that if nothing else he would teach us how to cut out cores and how to make homemade saws and drills.
He had me pull up a chair as he called up google earth and the zoomed in and showed me where they had collected every single piece of jade thay had shown us.. Here was an eighty six year old man that had a mind as sharp as the day they found the stone. The time went to quickly and he handed us boxes of small jade slicks, telling us to pick them up and feel the jade.
Suzie then said , "Warren isn't it time to release some of them?:, and he insisted that we help ourselves to the slicks, so that we could hold jade and learn its rind, feel, and color. We both picked out some of the pieces to add to our collection, Pieces that we will not work but will simply treasure as we remember the stories they had shared. Thank you Warren and Suzie! Clear skies.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
The weeks were filled with so much and most importantly filled with sister time. I don't think the girls passed up visiting a single store in the Coastal Bend, ok maybe a few, :), luckily Roy and I were able to skip the prolonged shopping and spend some quality time fishing.
PINS, beach,(Padre Island National Seashore). A day there is always well spent with shelling and fishing and walking. The fishing was poor as the seaweed weighed down our lines and made it impossible to hold in place, but it was still fishing. The water had warmed enough so that you didn't need waders and of course the resident Great Blue Heron had to visit us begging for a fish lunch.
Of course we talked rock and lapidary. Roy is also new to the obsession, and he showed us his work, all done with an inland lap and a tumbler for polishing. He really does amazing work, I envy his free form heart shapes and he was kind enough to share his techniques as we did ours. We both came away with new ideas for cabochons.
A second day of fishing was at the Packery Channel jetties. There the sheepshead were also biting and Roy caught a nice flounder. I added a 26 inch red fish to the grill and it doesn't get any better than fresh grilled fish on a half shell.
Our friend Dick had invited them to his house, where he showed them his work and rock and of course they were as amazed with his displays as we have been. There are so many talented artists here. Dick is in the process of sorting his collection of rough. He has been getting rid of all but the top pieces and so Roy and I left with a lot of Rio Grande Agate cobbles.
The two weeks went so quickly and as they left, with blessed tears of course, hitch itch set in us both and we look forward to our own travels. A wedding in Conneticut, and new states to join the ones we have already visited. The road beckons and we have satyed here too long. Clear skies.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Gulf Coast Gem and Mineral Show 2011, Robstown, Texas
We had just finished the last seven Wyoming Jade cabochons and had wrapped them in sterling silver so they would complete a sixteen piece set. The display would be a slab of rough and the corresponding finished piece, along with a map of jade prospecting locations.
Jerrold and Linda and Mark W, were also going to put some of their work in our store and so we were all excited.
Our friend and mentor Dick C. had also decided to sell some of his lifetime collection and so we hoped we could sell some of our work so we could buy his cabochons, his work is the finest we have seen! He was also selling his wife's, Evelyn, collection of cabochons, matching sets of earrings and pendants that had won her a National Lapidary award.
The next morning Renita and I left early and drove to the show. The setup of our store went easy and while it was the smallest store it was composed of one of a kid handmade pieces in which we had done the lapidary and wire wrapping. Our uniqueness is that we don't buy and resell ready made pieces and their wer only two other stores that did the same.
We also invested in a beautifully chatoyant five pound boulder of South African gold tiger eye, after all isn't that what its all about, buying and collecting more rock,(note to self buy new tires with a higher load rating)?
Saturday drew to a close and we were all happy with the days events.
Sunday morning came too quickly, I had been up late wrapping custom orders of turquoise and Texas Moss agate. I hope the people would love their rocks. Having people select your style of work and asking you to wrap their treasure makes it even more special. It seemed forever before they showed up and they were ecstatic! They even promised more orders and that's the way its been for us, the weeks after the show bring phone calls and requests.
Its all about getting our names out there and showing our lapidary work and wire art. Renita makes outstanding free form cabochons and I would put our precise wire wrapping up there with the best. To say we are having fun is an understatement and to say it is such a surprise is an equally true. Life is good! Clear skies.
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