Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I am very pleased to announce two great things are happening with Spike’s Stoneworks. One new and wonderful (coming soon), the other old and coming back to the internet better than ever! They will be rolled out together. This is the first of at least two other expansions. It came as a welcome surprise. It will also come to reality sooner than the other expansions.

I chose this blog to make the announcement as I have more room to explain what’s going on and why.

Very soon Spike's Stoneworks will be the exclusive distributor in the U. S. and Canada for Isomars templates ( Isomars.com ). This is being done to save you money on these wonderful templates. In the past the shipping price was more than the templates themselves. Now, with them coming from me, the shipping cost and time will be cut way down. Making them affordable and getting to you quickly.

The second part of this is my website is coming back, and the templates are going to be a part of that. I am also working hard on the gallery, more stones will have hover over and click on information than before, in the end they will all be that way but it will take some hard work to make that happen.

What does “exclusive” mean? Well as it sounds, I will be the only one. Also, all inquires for the templates I have will be referred to me from Isomars (their idea).

All of this will be handled through Spike’s Stoneworks.com and my Artfire studio.

Take a good look at these templates. They are great for lapidary and jewelers. I first promoted these with no idea something like this would happen. I was just passing on some great stuff. A month ago I had an idea that maybe I could increase their sales by selling a few from here. Thirty days later that tiny idea has grown into a wonderful thing.

Thank you for taking the time to see what's going on and hope you share in my excitement as this comes together.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

My old eyes have seen a lot things most other peoples haven't. Savagery, viciousness, deliberate acts of hatred and the results of those acts. Though I have been spared the first hand experiences over the last 15 years for the most part, I like you are exposed to them through the media, what is on my mind is what we have become.

Quick example, yesterday I was in a store and the lady in front of me at the checkout had more than she could carry. She hesitated in picking up her other box when she realized she couldn't handle both of them. The clerk did the same wondering who she could call to help, I was right there and was going to walk out the same door so I offered to help. The clerk was surprised and said something about it, the lady offered to pay me for carrying it out after I put it in her car. I have been shaking my head about this for two days. What ever happened to acts of kindness? Are they so rare now that they have to acknowledged by praise or money?

I was recently exposed to a whole new culture, it was one of me first (though that exists everywhere, more so there) and I only care about me and if you are in my way I will step on you. I don't mean in business where that is common I am talking about going down the grocery store aisle. I had to take it for what it was, I didn't like it but "I" was the stranger with the crazy notions of watching out for the other guy.

Please don't misunderstand what I am saying here, I am not putting myself out as some shining example, I'm normal, but what the hell happened to these other people?


Saturday, April 3, 2010

On Spikes mind

This has nothing to do with lapidary, but what the title says: Some of my kids have joined facebook group Make It Illegal to Protest at Military Funerals, and I am sure they are wondering why dad hasn't joined. The very first thing I have to say is that I hate the phelps (they don't deserve a capital in their name) group and what they are doing, the second or third funeral they did this at was nearby and I was livid (Myra if you are out there sorry for having to listen to my tyraids that night (I still think that any Sheriff who arrested the whole crew on even a trumped up charge would be reelected for life).

But, and as much as it grieves me to say it, they have the right to speak out. Is what they are saying and doing the right thing to do? NO! It causes so many people pain and worse at a time they are the most vulnerable. These people exploit the law at every turn, they've been doing this kind of stuff for over twenty years. Ever pinched a snake in the middle and watched it twist and turn excreting everything in its body to get away? That's Fred Phelps, and he has taught his brood most all Lawyers to do the same.

One of, no my favorite radio show from time to time has one of them (I won't say her name as I am sure sure she has google notification turned on and I don't want even cause a single smile on her face because of me) on, they goad her into singing one or two of their hate songs. I nearly retch and turn it off.

Back to the the topic, protests at Military Funerals. It's too blanket, what if one of us was killed during a war on lets say England? The President lost his mind and someone in our family was killed because of it. When walking out from the funeral a microphone was shoved in our face and we said "I am so against this, there was no reason". You are thinking apples to oranges? It's not, the law is cut and dry, its still a protest no matter the emotion either way.

They are not changing minds, nor bringing anyone other than their own brain washed family in to join their way of thinking. There will come a day that the snake will be pinched off, lawfully or not.

In the end god has the final say.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Woodward Ranch Agate

Right this very moment my friends are in very remote Texas finding rocks of a life time.

I've been there with them and wish I could be now, so it seems appropriate to discuss the name Woodward ranch agate.

Jan and Trey Woodward are the owners of the ranch, Jan tells us there are 80 different agates to be found there. Well we were allowed to hunt in a area generally off limits and I found a yellow spotted agate there that I have not seen or shown before and when I showed it to Trey he had no clue so make it 81.

Some of the types of agate to be found there are Gold Moss, Flower Garden, Black and Red Plume, sometimes mixed which is rare indeed.

Our first trips goal was the red plume which had to be pounded out of the basalt as anything laying out in the open had been picked up before (if you do that wear gloves, I got the worst infection of my life doing it without). As we hunted and newer avenues were opened up we found some amazing rock. Most of which can't be named for its complexity or it just bloody escapes us.

Needle Peak, though a hundred miles south of the ranch it is owned and operated by Trey and Jan. What a amazing huge piece of rock it is. Home to the elusive Pom Pom agate. But many others also. It is a steep taxing climb though not without its rewards if you have a sharp eye. The back side is mostly unexplored. We got a quick tour and Trey even said he hadn't been there enough to guide it properly. I know that I walked away from many Pom poms not knowing what was laying there.

There is a cost, as with everything in life. First you have to get there. It is very remote SW Texas after all. Then spending your time finding and sorting the rock, and at the end paying for what you have found after all it is their land and you are taking it away piece by piece.

Just realized I hadn't explained all I wanted to or really the main point. What the name Woodward ranch agate comes down to is a complex mixture that we just can't pin point, but that is where it came from so very special, as it was hand collected and not some commercial scoop up and promote thing.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Well so much for promises, the past couple of months have been very busy. I am back in Kansas, my cabber is still in pieces from the move because I don't have a place to work yet. But I want to continue to tell you all about different stone so:

Graveyard point agate come from both sides of the Oregon / Idaho border in the Homedale Id. area near Succor creek and the Owyhee mountains. All three of those areas produce some amazing Picture Jasper and Spotted Agate besides the Graveyard point. (If I ever come up missing this will be one of the first places to look for me, Ha)

This rock is not mined from a graveyard but is named this because it is close to the scene of a 18th century settler massacre. I've tried to find exact dates and more information on that attack but have been mostly unsuccessful.

Graveyard plume has wonderful white plumes in clear agate, there is often some confusion between it and Regency Rose agate. There is a good reason for that because Regency Rose is a variety of Graveyard but has more reds in it as the name indicates. Like a lot of names it ends up being in the eye of the beholder, in this case calling either or one or the other would be correct.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2010.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I can't believe June was the last post here, I promise to keep this up better from here on and with new things One of the ideas I have had for this spot is information on Lapidary rocks and minerals. Probably one of the easiest ways to do that is to give information and observations on material that has been recently worked, So keeping with that I give you Noreena Jasper:

Mined in Western Australia Noreena Jasper has a Mohs hardness of around 7 according to the charts, I did this one this afternoon and would say closer to 6 for it. This was fun to work in that the colors play out and come up very quickly, I knew I wouldn't run out of color but I wanted it a certain way so had to be careful and grind just a little at a time with each process. Had I continued red would have begun poping up in the gray areas on the left and the bottom.

Noreena has a new family member, Pilbara Jasper (named for the town Pilbara near where both are found) two years ago it came on the scene at the Tucson show and it is still very popular today. Both have some of the same dramatic colors but you can tell the one from the other as Pilbara has stark sharper a tighter lines and usually they are a little bit brighter. Also cost, Pilbara is still bringing a premium price both in rough and in cabochons. I hope that will change before long but don't hold your breath.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Coming soon and Evolutions in Stone

I have been thinking about adding something different to my regular web site. There isn't a name for it yet but something like "Other interests" or "I also like" and on those pages have some pictures of the glass I collect, it is all one pattern in Vaseline glass (There is Uranium in it so it glows under black light) it was made for just a few and I mean very few as in under ten starting in 1881. I might also show some of my salt dips or open salts. I have some that are very unique and like the glass itself are rare. The thought for the glass is to show it both in regular light and with it glowing. What do think? Too silly for my website?

is a Rock and Jewelry message board forum.. Don't groan - this one is different. I have personally met many of the members including the owner and there is not a bad egg in the carton. Everyone is very friendly and there is some great wire wrapping, wire work, metalsmithing, faceting, PMC and of course all kinds of rock, cabs and slabs. I have been a member of other boards and have seen all kinds of in-fighting and arguments; this one is not like that at all - some teasing and joking but that is about it. I see it like a corner cafe, but everyone there has common interests.

The reason I am bringing this up is that with the start of summer also comes a slow period for outlets like this one. EIS has been no exception. The forum owner, BlarneyStone, is having some family matters to tend to over the next few months and with the slow down didn't know whether to keep it going, so he put it to a vote. We voted to keep it going and I am guessing the only way he could make me act responsible in his absence was to make me responsible, so I will be helping with administration while he takes care of his family. Please visit Evolutions in Stone , you don't have to join (though you are certainly welcome to) to look at the posts and pictures but I hope you do so we can hear your ideas and drool over your pictures and work.

I've rambled on long enough and my new diamond belt came in, so I'm off to get caught up on cabs.