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Rocks In My Head

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geology et al
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Rock Shop
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minor disappointment
My grandfather liked to grind opals.  He also enjoyed experiments, gadgets, discoveries.  How jubilant he would have been to learn that his daughter, my mother, had created cabochons that resembled opal, out of casting resin and Christmas glitter flakes.  But he was gone by the time of her discovery, and now she has also passed away.  I don’t think her cabochons resemble opals that much, but Grandpa and my mom would have pretended.  That’s the way they were.  I have an entire drawer of her creations.  Opal-like or not, these ovals and shapes are attractive and lovely.  I wear them in the jewelry she made, and I give them as gifts.For some people, lapidary meant grinding shapes, mostly ovals, and setting them in mass produced rhodium plated mountings.  Then there was a movement to learn jewelry making with precious metals.  That meant shaped, handmade mountings and freeform stones.  I would like to learn wire wrap but until I do, I am clearing out the mountings and findings that I inherited from my family.  My collection goes back a half century, back to my earliest memories.  I have a webpage where I sell these metal pieces and other craft supplies at rock bottom prices.  Sometimes when I box up these pieces of my past and ship them off, I feel sad.  But space is precious, confusion is counterproductive, and sometimes I have a cash flow problem.At one of these times I decided to sell my already severely discounted findings at half price.  I got a few orders, including one that I had second thoughts about filling.  One woman sent me 12 emails regarding a very small order.  She wanted to make sure she got her money’s worth.   I should have seen the writing on the wall.  This interaction was doomed from the start.  I boxed up her stuff, being very generous about enclosing extras.  Extras from my cache of precious memories.Was she satisfied?  No.  She said she could not “selvedge” any of the stones from at least 60 sets of my mother’s jewelry.  Had she removed them from the cards and gave them a swish through jewelry cleaning liquid from the dollar store, she would have had at least a $300 collection of costume jewelry.  There was something wrong with the blanks for making cross necklaces.  But then, she paid about $1 for the entire bag of 50 pieces.  The items she admitted liking were my free gifts to her...including hand painted tree rounds.  Dozens of them.  She said opening the box was a grave disappointment.  And the items smelled like mildew, she said.  The odor was overwhelmingFor that I am truly sorry.As somebody who grew up in the lapidary culture, the odor of mildew is something I take for granted.   Rock shops were housed in outbuildings, sometimes with leaky roofs, and specimens stored in broken down cardboard boxes.   The email from that customer was a disappointment to me, too.

Posted by oh5/ojhoff at 9:30 PM CDT
Updated: 10/29/11 9:34 PM CDT
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