Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sparky's a Rock Hound Wannabe

Sarasota FL        High:  82    Low:  62

There are so many things to do at Sun 'n' Fun, it's unreal...Sparky had a busy day today, checking out all kinds of stuff...The day spa here at Sun 'n' Fun had an open house...They offer acute and chronic pain therapy, deep tissue massage, Swedish and relaxation massage...They have TWO licensed massage therapists, Melanie and Kent. Melanie is a licensed esthetician, she does facials, body wrapping, scrubs and facial waxing in addition to being a massage therapist. They were conducting a drawing for a free massage. Sparky hopes to win it for Eldy, who is still having back aches and pains....But then, he doesn't do his stretches that Nurse Sparky recommends he do every day, so don't feel too sorry for him! :-)

This afternoon, the lapidary shop was open....time to find out about rocks,  minerals, and other cool stuff. Sparky enjoyed herself talking to the lapidary shop "proprietor"...Bob. Bob has been working stones and making jewelry for 14 years and he is in charge of the shop. He explained the different machines to Sparky. He talked about buying a bag of rocks for 200.00 known to contain opals and said he had gotten his money back several times over with the opals that were revealed after grinding and polishing. He spoke of one that he found in his purchase that would sell for over $800.00 in a jewelry store. Here he is working on bringing out the fire of this opal.  He worked and worked to polish out the imperfections to get to the "fire" in the stone. It's quite a process to know how long and how hard to work at finding the color and beauty within the stone without literally grinding it to pieces and having very little left.

The shop has some pricey equipment for rock hounds....How about a $2500 machine for polishing gemstones and minerals? Wow!  A couple of ladies were in the shop working on rocks, bringing out their colors. The stones sure don't look like much when you first start out with them! They just look like little ordinary dirty, plain rocks.

There are stones and materials available at the shop so you can come in, pick out a rock, stone, whatever, get to grinding and polishing and come out with a beautiful finished product!

Classes are available to make earrings, key rings, wrapped stone pendants, and lots more stuff. They sell all kinds of findings so you don't have to go out and collect all the stuff to make something. Bob was a good, patient teacher. Sparky decided she liked what she saw, and plans on going back again soon to learn how to wire wrap. (Do I detect another hobby starting up, Sparky? Eldo wants to know.) enough stuff going at the moment, but it sure looks interesting and fun!

After class, it was off to the town of Venice, to the beaches, to look for shark's teeth! More about that tomorrow.....See you in Venice!


  1. Sparky has waaay too much energy. Just thought I'd point that out in case you had missed it. lol

  2. I used to have a much cheaper version of a rock smoothing machine. It was so noisy we had to put it in the garage, and it took FOREVER to get the rocks all shiny and pretty. I finally quit doing it, it was just too much trouble. I'd guess the expensive machine would be lots faster and quieter.

  3. We will be near Venice later in the month. Let me know if you find sharks teeth so I'll know where to look. After seeing the shark jaw with all its teeth at the nature center I can see why they have so many to lose.

  4. So much about the lapidary, rock gems etc.. in Quartzsite, we see every year we go there. Think Sparky would really enjoy it out there some year.

  5. The father of a girlfriend growing up had all that rock stuff :) I used to watch him for hours as he polished up ugly old rocks to something of beauty. Was neat!

  6. Look out Eldy I feel another craft coming on!