Rockhounding and Nephrite Jade Information

I have been carving gem stones since 1970, and larger stone pieces since 2007. Whereas many rockhounds and lapidaries start out cutting cabochons, I started with gemstone carving. My first gemstone carving was created on my college desk top with tools that I converted for the purpose. My main point carving arbor was an electric drill held horizontally in a stand. At the time, there were very few diamond carving burrs or small grinding wheels. I made my own using sheet copper and diamond grit. The success of this first project made me excited to do another one.

That first carving was a frog that I carved from a piece of a colorless quartz crystal that I had found on a geology field trip to the Snowbird Mine in western Montana for one of my classes. My next project wasn’t started for a couple of years, due to the requirements of geology graduate school. This next project was done in jade that I found near Darrington, Washington. This was a salamander on a log that I carved out of a piece of vulcan jade. I’ve continued to carve gemstones and in recent years moved up from small projects to also doing large stone sculptures in jade, granite, andesite and other stones and gem materials.

In the last few years, I've mostly been carving jade that I find in Washington. Here are a few photos of some of my sculptures and carvings.

Bowl, Mahogany Obsidian, Glass Butte, OR, 11 inches, gift for friends.

Vulcan bowl side-small
Bowl, Vulcan jade with blue interior, Bear Creek, Skagit County, Washington.


Jade padlock knot pendant, jade from near Darrington, Washington.

Dragonfly, jade from near Darrington, Washington, on petrified wood.

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