Archive for January, 2011

The Red Heart-Stone

Warden Point Red Flint Stone

I would also like to share something a bit different with you – a non-thunderegg.  Maybe this wont be as interesting to you as many of my specimens, since it is not exactly anything rare or unusual – or maybe it will.  I found this stone several years ago on the beach near Leysdown-on-Sea, Kent – long before I got my polishing machine – and it has been hanging around ever since.  It was just a large sea pebble.  On the outside it was a dull brown, with a broken area revealing a uniform red interior – but for some reason, it really struck me and I just couldn’t get rid of it.  Call it instinct.  Other things I picked up and wistfully dreamed of working with ended up dumped because I just hadn’t the technology, but this one lingered.  It ended up in the rather chaotic garden of my old family home for a while, almost lost and buried.  But fortunately not quite.

And then I bought my polishing machine.  Of course, I was and am still without a saw, so I was still limited.  But this stone was still pricking at me!  I picked it up out of the garden one day, washed the mud off, brought it to London and just decided to see what I could do.  So I powered up my massive polishing wheels and started grinding away at one flattish side of it.  Of course, red was quickly revealed and I watched with interest to see what happened.  I expected to see a uniform interior, but instead patterns began to show up – and flaws – and staining.  And a weird pale shape right through the inside of the stone.  I was astonished to see that it looked like meat – flesh.  Like some curious internal organ.

To cut a (very) long story short, I just kept grinding.  For week after week, whenever I had a few hours, I would let the stone ride the wheel.  And I kept grinding until I had physically ground away so much rock that I had a genuine ‘half’ stone.  And here it is.  I finally managed to get a totally flat surface (the flaws meant that it had a tendency to chip) and a beautiful mirror polish – one of the best I have ever managed.

Now why did I invest SO much time and effort into this?  It is basically a red flint-type rock.  Nothing really unusual about it.  The only answer I have is that it enthralled me – to slowly voyage through that rock and watch what was revealed.  A rock that I had found – and maybe because it was an ordinary pebble and thus so familiar.  And also because it is bloody beautiful!  Its fleshy veined appearance is amazing – the colour as well.  At heart, I am not really a ‘collector’ – I don’t respond to things being ‘rare’ or ‘precious’ (well – not always anyway!) or ‘done in the right way’ – I respond to what I see as beauty, plain and simple.  And for all the rare and unusual and exquisite thundereggs I have bought or polished, this stone has a very special place for me.  It helps remind that beauty can be found in the most ordinary things, if you look.

Below is a second very ‘ordinary’ stone I worked with in the same way – a tiny brown flint nodule from Whitstable.

Whitstable Pebble

Awaking from Sleep – New German Eggs

Well – things here have been quiet lately!  I more or less stopped working on thundereggs for a while, mostly due to publishing and writing matters taking up my entire brain.  But just recently one of my German contacts kick started things again by selling me a new boxful.  I can tell you, it is nice to be back slinging mud!

I am still terribly busy (when am I not?) but I promise I will get back to updating the main gallery soon (not to mention new stones for sale)!  In the mean time though, here are a few of the new stones hot off the polishing machine.  Some very nice ones among these!

Gottlob amethyst geode
First up is a very large amethyst geode (rare enough) – from Gottlob (which makes it even rarer).  This is almost 15 cm long and the first time I have encountered Amethyst to that extent.

Felsenschlag ThundereggNext is a Felsenschlag with some nice things going on in it, in spite of the slightly invasive cracking.

Felsenschlag ThundereggFans of mysterious holes may be interested in this curiosity from Felsenschlag.  The location is prone to these holes, but I have not seen it on a scale quite like this before.  Hmm – looking at it, maybe i need to clean it up a bit more!  I polished that one before i got my powerful spray gun.

Spießberg ThundereggAnd lastly an almost achingly beautiful specimen from Spießberg.  I have to say, the colours that go on in these stones just take my breath away – I really must track down some more of these and get them in the shop!