I live in La Center Wa. with my wife Chris for over 24 years. I early retired in 2015 after a 30-year corporate life. I picked up lapidary after I retired and haven’t looked back. There is something about rocks that seem to work on everyone's imagination. I turned my shop into a lapidary shop and started cutting, tumbling, and polishing rocks. We love camping and have spent my days in the desert with my sister Rachael and brother-in-law Mike digging for various rocks and petrified wood. We basically collaborated together to learn the processes and 7 years later, we have produced some very unique lapidary pieces. I also recently joined some art organizations and have done collaborative work with my friend Connie Ford (basketry). All the weaving and basketry you see in the photos are done by Connie.
As far as lapidary work, the most common process is to cut slabs or gems and polish or sell the slabs to people that produce jewelry. I started tumbling river rocks from local creeks and I found too big of rocks to tumble and polish. Then I bought a rock saw and started cutting the larger ones, that is when the rocks started talking to me. (No I am not kuck ku!) After cutting pieces, they would look like a wing of some type or a face so to speak. So I went with it! For example, if you looked at the photos of my work, I made a rock lobster, the whole lobster is from one egg that I cut, and a couple of the slabs looked like lobster claws…..ala rock lobster!