Thursday, May 19, 2011

where have i been?

GREAT question, I apologize to my three remaining readers.

For starters, I've been working on a mosaic tile installation in the courtyard of a local middle school. The students arranged all of the glass tiles before they were glued to the cylindrical benches which are six feet in circumference, there are 5 benches in total to mosaic. I have a fabulous assistant, Rhonda Spight, she is a recent BFA graduate from the Memphis College of Art.

The first bench we've grouted, after it's been dry for a few
days I will take a steel file to the top and bottom edges.

I have also been learning to cut stones
with my friends Beth and David.

Slabbing a hunk of Australian chrysoprase.
(Slabbed by David Day, I watched.)

Two of the four slabs cut, ranging from 1/2" to over 1" thick.

Roughed out on the trim saw with more help from David
who fixed my undercutting. This piece is close to 3/4" high.

Grinding on the rough wheel with Beth.

Heating for dopping after rough grinding into a cylinder. Dopping is the process of heating both the stone and sealing wax to affix a short dowel to the bottom of the stone that acts as a handle during grinding. You remove the stone by placing it in the freezer for a little while, when you take it out of the freezer you can easily pop the stone off of the dowel.

The finished cab, I'm hooked.

I cut this rhodochrosite a few weeks ago.

At the gem show on Beth and David's equipment.

I love the military issue goggles, very comfortable.

Both cabs and a setting I'm working on, the green
stone is actually a little smaller than the pink.

I have been making new pieces for a two-week artshow.

I've also been teaching a digital photo portraiture program to teens at a local community center, they did some great work - none of these photos have been cropped.


  1. Wow! And I thought I was busy!

    Great stuff you have going on... though I am glad you will be back around - I've missed you!

    (from one of your three loyal readers)

  2. The work you are doing is amazing!! I love it, especially the portraiture!! I'll be glad to see you back around too!!

  3. All very cool Tomi! I soooo want to learn lapidary.

  4. Hi ladies, thanks for your great comments! It's nice to be back, I'm looking forward to getting caught up and seeing what everyone is up to. Watch out Ash - lapidary is very addicting!

  5. Tomi~It's great to see what you have been up to. You are a very busy lady. I love the mosaic benches...they are wonderful! And the stones are beautiful and the pictures are great from your students. have 4 loyal readers :)