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  1. #271
    BPnet Veteran Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Snakes and Stones

    Photo #110

    Shown above is a 50% Het Albino.
    The reduced patterning prompted me to add Enchi over the years and the result is some very clean examples.

    The stone above is form the aptly named 'Snake River' in the Western USA, it is reminiscent of Confetti Jasper (but, it is not). The snake river and tributaries can be found in six states (Washington, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Nevada), all of these states are known for having interesting rocks due to volcanic activity. I purchased a big box of random material from a guy in Idaho that he hand-picked. I have only tumbled a few of the 'smaller' pieces from the box, most of the stones are rather large and I have to expend the considerable effort to break them up (hammer/chisel) prior to tumbling.
    Last edited by Lord Sorril; 07-31-2021 at 06:13 AM.
    *.* TNTC

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  3. #272
    BPnet Veteran Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Snakes and Stones

    Last Fall I was examining a geological map of the area around my house and I found a note that there was an abandoned soapstone quarry a few miles from my house.
    I looked at a recent map and there was a little-used trail to the site.
    Apparently someone felt it needed a bit of flare (shown below).

    Moving on to the quarry I was displeased to find the entire area filled with water and some areas with rusty barbed wire fence.

    Someone had begun to dig a mining pit, but, had stopped. I checked the pit out and all I found was shale (which is extremely common in my area).
    Unwilling to leave empty-handed, I collected some lighter colored pieces.

    Shale is a composite of minerals including Clay and Quartz and having an overall Mohs hardness rating between 2-4 (you can snap it with your fingers). Shale can be shaped in a tumbler if you are really careful, but, polishing a soft sedimentary rock it is like trying to get a polish on sandpaper, grains break off and you can never quite achieve your goal. I have read of someone successfully polishing shale using an industrial laser, but, I don't have one of those handy... Of the pieces shown above only two made it to the polish stage and neither one took a real shine. I showed my feline friend one of the pieces, he was clearly impressed that I made it that far in the process...

    The real problem with the Shale is that I try to photograph all of my stones and these two pieces of shale killed the aesthetics of almost any group or configuration I used them in. An analogy would be like trying to make soup when your main ingredient is lemons...so I figured I would just throw in some odds and ends I've been having trouble matching and make a big ole' mish-mash of random pieces that have been kicking around. The result is not surprising.

    Photo #111

    Even the Black Pastel is not sure what to make of it.
    In retrospect I should have taken the shale pieces and used them in a separate photo by themselves rather than trying to do a group shot.
    At least I can say I tumbled Shale now, cross that stone off the list and mark it as 'never again'...
    *.* TNTC

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  5. #273
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    I still think your shale variety photo turned out really nice even if going just shale would have maybe been easier or better. I suppose if it was me (I'm not the most artistic person, but from time to time I try out things and they turn out well), I probably would have used my adult Enchi Puma because the way her color goes from bright at the dorsal to really light offwhite at the lower sides, it has a "dry" appearance at the bottom that might tie in nicely with the not-so-perfectly-polished look of the shale.

    I absolutely don't blame you for not wanting to go through that kind of polishing phase again I admire you for having the patience to do it at all.
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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  7. #274
    BPnet Veteran Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Snakes and Stones

    Photo #112

    Spider Black Pastel with some assorted agates (various locations), a little bit of shed starting on her head.
    I had to underexpose the photo to prevent the stones from reflecting the camera flash. Agate can take a mirror-like polish and is a classic material among those who tumble/polish stones.

    Fun fact: Agate can be found all over the world and comes in every color imaginable. Certain types of agate will readily accept dye and can be turned from a plain colorless piece into a patterned beauty. Dyed agate slices and book ends are commonly sold in many different stores as display pieces. UV light will often degrade the dye over time and reveal the original stone. Not every piece of agate comes out well during the dying/cutting process. The left overs (an example shown below) are often sold to hobbyists for various lapidary projects.

    Last edited by Lord Sorril; 08-02-2021 at 07:22 AM.
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  9. #275
    BPnet Veteran Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Snakes and Stones

    Photo #113


    Chalcedony (brown), Feldspar (blue), Picasso Jasper (green), Orange Dream Het Ghost (brown/black/orange).

    Side Story: For a while I was purchasing several boxes a week of assorted stones from a guy who owns a rock shop in California...he was charging me just a little over the cost of shipping. There was a real mix of material he sent in each box (I still haven't opened about many of the boxes), some of them were scraps from projects, and others were broken pieces or material that he couldn't sell, but, one of the boxes had just a big grey stone sitting in it with some faded marks. Sure, I was only paying shipping, but, I was a bit peeved to receive a boring old grey rock. I broke some pieces off and tumbled them and they are actually the nice green picasso jasper you see above...never seen it before in the rough form...never would have guessed it...
    *.* TNTC

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  11. #276
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    Re: Snakes and Stones

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Sorril View Post
    ...Side Story: For a while I was purchasing several boxes a week of assorted stones from a guy who owns a rock shop in California...he was charging me just a little over the cost of shipping. There was a real mix of material he sent in each box (I still haven't opened about many of the boxes), some of them were scraps from projects, and others were broken pieces or material that he couldn't sell, but, one of the boxes had just a big grey stone sitting in it with some faded marks. Sure, I was only paying shipping, but, I was a bit peeved to receive a boring old grey rock. I broke some pieces off and tumbled them and they are actually the nice green picasso jasper you see above...never seen it before in the rough form...never would have guessed it...
    What a nice surprise! I wonder if he knew what it was "inside"? Either way, you scored!
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  12. #277
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    Ooohhh, this is another of my favorites. I love the color combo and the patterns in the stones are incredible. You always know the perfect snake to put with the stones, I'm telling you.
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

  13. #278
    BPnet Veteran Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Snakes and Stones

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    What a nice surprise! I wonder if he knew what it was "inside"? Either way, you scored!
    I'm pretty sure he knew what the material was: all I can think is that if he sent me a big chunk of it in the mail then he probably filled an entire pickup truck bed full of this material...
    Quote Originally Posted by nikkubus View Post
    Ooohhh, this is another of my favorites. I love the color combo and the patterns in the stones are incredible. You always know the perfect snake to put with the stones, I'm telling you.
    Thanks! Having a nice looking snake is always helpful as well...

    In other news: 2021 photos are looking great so far! As always some of them are looking better than others as I experiment with various patterns. I'm tempted to wait and see what I hatch out first to pair better with matching rocks for my photos, but, I was recently recruited by a large company (aggressively...$++) and I start my new role at the end of the month so I am working on taking as many pictures as possible in my current 'free time'.

    We should start to see the 2021 photos in this thread in a few weeks.

    Photo #114

    Pastel (shy) with an unusually high blush, 50% possible Het for Axanthic.
    Brazilian agate and Polychrome (aka Desert) Jasper from Madagascar.
    Certain stones are great for rock tumbling beginners: most agates and jaspers take a polish with minimal skill/effort.
    There are some venerable lapidary artists that only work with agates and jaspers and proclaim themselves 'the best' at rock tumbling. I think it is cute...
    Last edited by Lord Sorril; 08-03-2021 at 10:32 PM.
    *.* TNTC

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  15. #279
    BPnet Veteran Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Snakes and Stones

    Photo #115


    Super Black Pastel Spider with some Dalmation stone dyed purple.
    This is my first Super Black Pastel morph I produced with zero defects.
    *.* TNTC

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  17. #280
    BPnet Veteran Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Snakes and Stones

    Photo #116

    BP in blue: Double Het, Lavender Albino/Clown (aka Grail)

    The stone in Photo #116 was part of a bet between my gf and I. The conditions of the bet were: that she could pick any stone in my pending inventory and if I could not tumble it smooth and polish it then I could not collect/buy any more rocks until it was completed or until all rough rocks in my collection were tumbled and polished. In the event that I won the challenge: then I could get another tumbler (without argument/attitude--which is nice).
    She had a lot of choices...picture below represents a small part of my collection.

    My gf originally examined a large piece of green-blue Fluorite with several layers of thick white quartz banding, and then a large piece of Angelite (Calcium Sulfate) that was flaking apart on the outer layer due to passive deterioration (it does not like humidity/water). I don't think I could have successfully polished either of those stones. Luckily she decided against those two because 'They should be easy to tumble because they are solid all the way through'. She eventually decided upon the piece of quartz above because it was irregular, fractured, and pitted--her reasoning was that it would break apart in the tumbling process or pit endlessly in polish. Of course when she picked a piece of Quartz my thought was 'Which tumbler should I buy?" Since then she has passively absorbed a lot of knowledge and I know she would never make the same mistake twice.
    *.* TNTC

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