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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Awesomeness of Spring

Early last week, I was watching the weather forecast for some hint of warm weather. Nearly a week into the future, I saw a break. The cold was supposed to lift, providing a glorious, sun filled 70 degree day. With much anticipation, I patiently (ok, not so patiently) waited for that beautiful Monday. The weather forecasts stayed right on target, a rarity, and the day arrived. That was yesterday... and what a day I had. :)

In order to cut up the slabs I've been collecting, I needed to have a really nice day. It had to be done outside with tap water. That water created a rock dust filled fine (and not so fine) mist which coated everything including my son, who was helping me, and myself. One can't accomplish the manual dexterity necessary for cutting with frozen, wet, pruney fingers, either. So, a warm day was a complete must.

In anticipation of the big day, I spent time marking out slabs. Not only did I have to find the heart of the slab, but I had to work around any bad spots, like fractures, pits and soft spots.



This required lots of concentration, as well as double fisting coffee and Coke. :) I make my marks with sharpie or pencil. The finger nail polish remover and q-tips are to erase lines when I change my mind. Some slabs are so beautiful, that it is hard to decide what to do.

I marked out about half the slabs and got ready for cutting.


Here you can see how deep the rabbit hole goes. There's a lot of slabs in here!

Slab pan number 2

The day, yesterday, arrived. It began overcast and chilly, which temporarily dampened my spirits, but it soon burned off into a beautiful day. My cutting partner and I got everything ready and took turns cutting. I did the more expensive ones, so if they broke-- and they can! --- I would have only myself to be upset with.

The following picture shows the process half done. There is the pan with slabs, a bin for cabs, a bin for scraps, a bin for pieces to go to my rock partner and a couple water buckets. I send the smallest scraps to my friend and rock partner, too. She tumbles rocks. She sends a lot of them to local schools for the kids to marvel over and to make crafts with. Virtually nothing goes to waste, though it may seem like it. You see, not every slab is a great cab maker. One big slab may only have one choice cab in it, but the rest gets used in other ways.


We managed to finish half the slabs. I have plenty left for another day.

We only lost a few cabs, which for one reason or another, broke into the lines. They'll become freeforms.

Now, all I have to do is cab them all! LOL! There's some real beauties in there, too. I can't wait. In fact, after I post this I'm gonna get, Gene, my cabber, out.

Thanks for sharing my fun with me. Stay tuned for some gorgeous cabs. :)



14 comments:

  1. Oh, you have so beautiful and colorful stones!
    It was so nice and interesting to read, what you have done :).
    Here in Finland we are having a quite cold spring. Still snow on the ground...

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    1. Hi Jaana :) The 70 degrees didn't last :( It dropped 20 the next day. It's still not too bad, though.

      Here's hoping Spring catches up with you. :)

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  2. Looks like you had a happy, productive day...great way to celebrate the arrival of spring, at long last. Spring will come soon to Michigan, I hope!

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    1. Hi Phil, Yup, Spring is finally on the way- even to Michigan, I suspect. I complain loudly about the groggy Spring but I can't complain too much. Winter here has been mild, if not long. It really didn't set in till after Christmas.

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  3. Tela, you put yesterday's breath of spring to very good use. There has to be more days like that coming!

    It is fascinating to see the process. You have an incredible pile of slabs. Bringing the beautiful cabs to life is a gift you possess. Interesting to see how nothing goes to waste.

    Thanks for taking us on your journey in the warm sunshine.

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    1. Hi Christine :) My pile of slabs is truly impressive, even to me. Being relatively new, I didn't quite understand all the jokes form the old timers about how the rocks really start to pile up. You start with a few and quickly end up over run. I have so many now, that sometimes it's hard to decide which to work on. - Not that I'm complaining! LOL!

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  4. Tela, I'm so glad that you shared your day with us. The process of creating cabs has always been a mystery to me. It's so wonderful to have the opportunity and ability to discover a passion and explore that passion. I just completed a course in metalsmithing and finally conquered soldering. There is so much to learn and can be overwhelming. Of course this also comes with a lengthy wish list! All in good time, I keep telling myself.

    I so enjoy reading your blogs!

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    1. Hi Kate, Lucky girl!! So glad to hear you finished your course. I'd love to see what you make. :) I'm sure whatever you do will be awesome. I'm still plugging away with silver solder. Honestly, I'm not sure where to look for a class.

      All in good time.... words to live by. I never thought I would be cabbing and here I am. :) You'll make it to wherever you want to go, one step at a time. :)

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  5. Can't wait to see your final gems!
    Happy Spring!

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    1. Hi Gina, Happy Spring to you, too. :)

      I'm afraid that will be a long post, LOL!! I already have a hand full done (and sore fingers). :)

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  6. You have really been productive, Tela! It's interesting to see the process, from (almost) rough through to finished piece.

    I see some really yummy stones!

    Joyce

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    1. Hi Joyce, Yes, there really are some yummy ones in there. I'm forcing myself not to work through all the best one first, LOL! I have to mix it up. My very, very best slabs, I haven't cut yet, I'm saving them, like for desert. :)

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  7. wow! than you for taking us along with you on cabbing day! it was fun and interesting to see the pics of all your supplies. its a complete labor of love, and it is easy to see how much you love doing it.

    hugs,
    denise

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    1. Denise!! What a welcome comment from you. I'm so glad to hear from you. :) I hope you are well.

      A labor of love it is. (It's not a habit, really it's not. I can quite anytime! LOL!)

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