Small Rutilated Quartz Sculpture


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No Title. Rutilated quartz, two part epoxy putty, 24KT gold leaf, manzanita burl, ebony, around 2 1/2" high.

The quartz isn't glued in and can be removed for handling. Soothing for metaphysical types!



What I did was mix up the epoxy putty, waited for it to set up a little bit, shaped it as I wanted, covered it with Saran Wrap, and then pressed the point of the quartz into it so it stood up on its own. Let it cure overnight and when I lifted the quartz out it left a perfectly formed pocket in the putty. Applied a reddish oil ground to simulate Armenian bole, then gilded it and voila.

I used the same technique on the copal sculpture, but glued it in. Copal is fragile compared to its much older relative, amber.
Thanx. Late 90s, not sure which year.

Because I didn't have bits for cutting really hard materials, I had to go with the basic shape of the piece of rough, which in this case was sort of like a fang. I did all the grinding with starting with a 100 grit diamond wheel, then successively higher grit diamond belts on an explandable rubber drum, followed by cerium oxide on a leather belt.
And messy. One thing about lapidary, it's messy. Faceting isn't too messy--I never thought I'd learn to do that but I wish I still could--but cutting and polishing stuff like this is messy messy messy. Water and slurry everywhere. Same with cutting cabochons. Messy.