Jewelry is nice to look at. They come in different sizes, colors, and designs. There could be instances that you will find the size and color nice, but not the design, or you like the color and design, but the size is too small or too big for you. So why not just create your own perfect jewelry? It is perfectly fine if you don’t have any idea how to begin. This article will teach you about lapidary equipment for beginners that will unleash your creative skills.
What is the required lapidary equipment for beginners?
Of course, you have to possess the main objective to work on. Aside from gemstones, you may also use rock slabs for your project.
2. Burnishing powder
After polishing the gemstones or rock slabs, burnishing powder is needed to make them shiny.
3. Silicon carbide
A gemstone or rock slab should not only be shiny, but it should also be smooth. Silicon carbide is used to remove any coarse areas.
4. Safety glasses
Cutting gemstones or rock slabs to their desired size will make some bits and pieces fly around. You don’t want them getting into your eye. Safety glasses are a must as a precaution.
5. Trim saw, or slab saw
A trim saw. Source: ebay.com
A slab saw. Source: lapidarymart.com
This equipment is used to cut down gemstones or rock slabs. It consists of a blade and a water reservoir. It costs around $425. Slab saws are more expensive. Sixteen inches one is priced around $1700 because it is designed to cut harder and rougher rocks. Trim saw you can work on flat pieces of rocks.
If you prefer to perform tumbling the gemstones or rock slabs, this is required in order to rinse your work after. Otherwise, the first five types of equipment we have defined so far are enough
7. Tumbling machine
If you prefer to perform the tumbling technique, you will also need a tumbling machine to polish rough gemstones.
The different lapidary art methods and techniques
If you want to create your own jewelry, you have to know what lapidary is first. Laide pidary is the art and process of turning gemstones into jewelry, basically what you need to do to achieve your goal as of the moment. It is a great way to relax and get creative and innovative. You can create a bracelet, pendant, ring, etc. through lapidary, especially if you are willing to learn about its different art methods and techniques.
There are three art methods and techniques, namely tumbling, cabochon cutting, and faceting.
What is Tumbling?
Tumbling is the best technique for beginners. It only requires only a few lapidary types of equipment, as well as lesser effort on your part. Most of the great jewelry makers now started from tumbling, so it is always one of the best points to start your lapidary journal. All you have to do is put all rough gemstones in a tumbling machine. Simply leave them for quite some time, and they will appear polished right after. This is another great hobby if you love picking up stones in rivers or coasts whenever you’re outdoors. Gemstones from these places come off as wonderful jewelry items. You just have to make sure that the gemstones are strong enough to survive the tumbling process. If it is soft, it will only get damaged in the process, so just pick up the hardest ones.
What is Cabochon Cutting?
Cabochon Cutting is the best way to unleash a gemstone’s inner beauty. It requires more time and effort on your part since it requires mastery, but definitely worth it. It is usually performed on the softer stones that you cannot put under a tumbling or faceting technique. This lapidary technique enhances the natural features of stone. You cut it in a way that will show its best version, usually a flat base and a well-polished convex top. A lot of stones have hidden attributes, and cabochon cutting is a proven and tested method to display them.
What is Faceting?
Faceting is creating multiple flat surfaces or facets in a gemstone, in such a way that it will reflect light to emphasize its beauty. If you find sparkling wedding rings and engagement rings wonderful, they are actually the result of the faceting technique. This method is used by most jewelry carvers. If you want to turn your jewelry hobby to an earning sideline, faceting is the best choice as it is the most profitable.
Maintaining the Equipment
Whether you wanted to invest in lapidary equipment for a simple hobby or for profit, it is also important to have knowledge not only about the equipment but also how to maintain them.
A slab saw will require new wheels and blades every twelve to eighteen months, while a trim saw will require more since it has two blades of different sizes. Owning a sharpening stone is recommended to maintain the blades, especially when they tend to dull quickly as you cut down harder and sharper stones.
As for your rock tumbler, you have to keep in clean and free from particles from the previous tumbling. This will help in preventing contamination for the new batch of rocks.
Nothing comes off easy at first. Jewelry making will require time, effort, research, and patience. However, nothing can beat the fulfilling feeling of seeing the results of your hard work. Nothing like gazing at glistening stones, with bright colors and nice shapes made from your own hands, and nothing like seeing your loved ones loving it as gifts.