Issue No. 286 - Friday, May 21, 2004
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
http://www.gemcutters.org or
Hi all,

Very Short list this time. After my comments concerning
the number of Lapidary related groups on Yahoo I learned
this week that Yahoo has changed their searches so that
if a group is searched ONLY items on the current page will
be searched. The archives are not looked at. This means
that the reason for using Yahoo groups to archive information
that is easily searchable is null and void. Our site's Google search
WILL search ALL of our archives. Just another example of lack
of control over anything turned over to sites such as Yahoo.


Index to Today's Digest

01  AD: The Facet Shoppe
02  RE: More About Cloud Dome
03  NEW: Lapidary Sites you may wish to visit on the web
04  WTB: Silkstone


Subject: The Facet Shoppe
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 18:07:30 EDT
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: JerilynPtr@aol.com

Hello list,

I was just looking at a piece of rough that I picked up a couple of weekends
ago, and I thought you might be interested.  It is called tourmalike and
changes color from a nice peach in natural/incandescent to a beautiful grass green
with fluorescent light. It is not shy about changing color and as I sit at the
computer with a fluorescent light overhead and daylight coming in the window
I am getting green on one side and peach on the other end.

I believe I saw a mention of it from Australia on one of the lists a few days
ago.  It is available at the Facet Shoppe along with another blue/purple
color change material.  They also had some two color pieces of rough like ametrine
only with different colors.  The cut samples were gorgeous.  If you wanted to
cut something that looks different, this would be it.

For those of you who don't know Barbara and John Franke, they are both
accomplished faceters and cut their own rough for display and sale.  They have
beautiful, clean rough at very reasonable prices. (I especially like their Merelani
garnet, it is really a beautiful green.)

This is also the home of the free downloadable versions of DataVue, for those
of you who are interested in getting designs there are over three thousand,
and the DOS version of Gemcad.
This version is not user friendly, that is true, but if you run through the
Manual once or twice and try to enter a simple cut or two from scratch, you
will be pleased you did.  One of the best reasons for being able to use Gemcad
(either version) is when something goes wrong when you are in the middle of cu
tting a stone, especially someone else's :-(   you can go recut the stone in
Gemcad to find out what angles will get you where you need to go.  This has saved
me several times when cutting a client's expensive rough.

For you beginners, there is a "Getting Started" section with a list of needed
materials and they also sell the materials, lists of cutting angles for
commonly cut material and much more.

This should be a "bookmark" site for all faceters.  I owe John many thanks
for all of the questions he has patiently answered for me.  Thank you John!

There is the usual disclaimer, I have no interest in...(except for the money
I spend there)...blah blah blah...etc. I have seldom seen their site mentioned
on the list and I feel that it deserves more notice.


In sunny Kirkland


Subject: More About Cloud Dome
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 21:40:49 -0600
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Todd" <td_gunz@yahoo.com>

Hi all,

I hope this post finds everyone's locale turning from Spring
into Summer without too much bad weather.  Up here in Denver it was
88/sunny on Tuesday and by Thursday morning it was 39/freezing rain.  That's
spring in the Foothills for you.

Without further delay; on to the topic for the day; Cloud Dome;

I'd seen it briefly while perusing eBay for photography 'props'
for gemstones/rough display.  I was intrigued by it, as I'd already run into
the 'facet flash' problem when trying to get good quality photos of my
finished gems.  Invariably one or more of the facets catches the light so
that it burns the pixels on the CCD which captures the digital images and
causes a bleed of the surrounding pixels.  Depending on how severe the
'facet flash' is it can range from just a 'white out' on that facet or bleed
over to the surrounding facets or more and detracting from the quality of
the picture.

I'd solved this problem by going to the Thrift Store and
purchasing a big translucent white Tupperware bowl, cutting a hole in the
top and using it as a lighting diffuser.  It wasn't pretty, sturdy or easy
to get good focused pictures but it did work.

When I saw the Cloud Dome I thought, "Now there's something that
has practical application.  I searched far and wide at Janitor/Lighting
Supply stores for the 'dome' they were using, thinking it was just a light
shroud or cover but to no avail.

I found the Cloud Dome website, called them and talked for over
an hour with the person who was in charge of sales.  I settled on the
Digital Kit they offered.  Then went to eBay and looked to see if I could
get it cheaper than from the manufacturer.  I found it about 75 dollars
cheaper on eBay in just a short time.  I emailed the person I'd spoken to at
Cloud Dome, asked if they'd match the price I'd found on eBay and even
jumped him the link to the seller.

He actually called me back on the phone.  He said that was a
'banned' distributor of their products.  They didn't know how he was still
getting them.  His distributor agreement was terminated for failing to honor
the minimum selling price and affecting other dealers of the dome. (Sounds
strikingly familiar to a dealer who was 'whoring' products in our hobby
effectively hurting the other dealers, doesn't it?)  The rep of Cloud Dome
not only matched the price I could have gotten it on eBay for but also
shipped it at a discount to me so it was cheaper in the long run.

In the Digital Photo Kit you get the basic Dome, an angled
collar which helps in photographs of larger things and also gives a
different perspective holding the camera at an angle instead of straight
up/down.  I also got the extension collar which lifts the dome higher up,
for larger objects, etc, a color corrected table light, a reversible
gold/silver foil light concentrator which Velcro's around the dome
brightening it considerably and altering the light to a slightly 'warmer'
tone when the gold side's used.

I can't say enough good things about this product, or my
shortcomings in being able to get the most out of it.  Any lack of quality
in my photographs is certainly "operator error" or caused by "the loose nut
on the end of the camera" rather than any shortcoming of the Cloud Dome
itself.  The only thing I'm struggling with is the Nikon Coolpix 995 camera
I have uses infrared to focus.  As the gems aren't giving off heat I have a
tough time getting the camera to focus on them.

Cloud Dome Productions, the sister site to the main Dome product
site has a lot of tips-n-tricks to help someone get some mastery of their
camera's particular draw-backs when using the dome.  They also offer hands
on seminars or workshops at various locations in and around Denver.  The
next one is at the Botanical Gardens at the end of the month.  You don't
even need to own a Cloud Dome to participate as they're provided, along with
a loaner digital camera for the workshop if you don't have one of them

I've not gone to a workshop yet, but am going to sign up Monday.
Its open enrollment to the general public now after the sponsoring
association had first dibs on the available spots.

I would include a pic before and after using the dome, but I
can't get any of my folders on my pc to open, (sheesh).  Nor can I get the
pc to recognize the media card when I plug it in or the camera if I plug it
in directly.  I think this pc is in its death throes and am waiting to lose
everything before I get a new one, lol.

Here's the site to Cloud Dome Productions;


In the "gallery" there are photos of different small objects
both with and without the dome.  They list the workshops they offer, when,
the cost, etc.  I think it'd be a great thing to see if the manufacturer is
interested in participating in the Faceting Symposium or some show like that
to expose faceters to their product, and them to the faceting community.

As always; sorry to ramble on as I do, hope you've read this
far, lol.  Have a great day; may all your meets meet, and remember; "Good
work is not cheap; cheap work is not good." <-- Great Grandfather's Company

todd of 'Todz Rox'
home of 'Kustom Kut' gemstones.

P/S: The usual disclaimers apply; I have no vested interest or affiliation
with Cloud Dome other than owning one. (The opinions expressed are not
necessarily those of Cloud Dome, they're mine!)


Subject: Places you may wish to visit on the web
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 21:56:56 -0600
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "jake" <efjke@msn.com>

Places you may wish to visit on the web

 I posted something like this about a year or so ago, since then there have
been new members, two are also fellow club members, but others may wish to
surf these web listings also, I expanded this a bit. On all of these sites
you may wish to visit the links, also see their suppliers etc. the links
themselves will lead you to a lot of information. You will find something
you want or need. Do follow the links and don't be surprised if one or more
of your bookmarks show up. If you like amethyst get on the IGS site and see
recommended suppliers, then look up unconventional lapidary, they have some
that is of the to die for, (if you like that stone). Bob's rock shop is a
classic site it's links are invaluable. Although a bit skimpy by following
the links you will build up a supply of information. You may if you have not
done so wish to organize you favorites into folders, such as rough, gems,
info, reference, tools, etc., I prefix mine with an A (a-tools, etc.) so all
related (gemology, rocks, tools, supplies, etc.) will not be confused. I
have found far more things using the google search engine than with
everything else. http://www.google.com -Although you sometimes have to be a
bit inventive with what to ask.

(Must See- The Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, Inc. -information and links.)


(General interests)








http://fireagate.com (if you like this stone it's worth browsing the




http://www.thomasregister.com (search engine)



 Two Sites with Archives and sign up for newsletters

(The orchid list (ganoksin project) worlds largest, for jewelry makers etc.)


http://www.gemcutters.org (Lapidary Arts, this list)

(Project Ideas)
http://www.silversmithing.com (See shop talk)

Gem Info
http://www.gemsociety.org (IGS)
(The IGS has information for non-members and a good supplier list, some of
the articles are public, see special features also.)
(Has more lessons)


2. Rocks and gem, suppliers and equipment
http://www.gemcutters.org/subscribe.htm (links)
http://huntforgems.com/links.html (commercial, but excellent links to other

 For anyone who may wish to build a really big (and cheep) rock tumbler.
(links to. and also)

 For the would-be gemologest, or gem cutter, visit Jerry Wykoff's site, he
has plans to build a faceting machine (also has an all-metal kit) and plans
for a cabbing unit. Mr. Wykoff is considered an if not the authority; his
library is an education. http://stores.ebay.com/GemLore-Productions - just a
suggestion but you may very well find something you need.

 Need a scale? You can almost put money on it that this place has the make
and model at the lowest price (compare), you may also wish to bookmark it.

 What may be the world's most advanced jeweler's bench, certainly a Cadillac
type. http://www.timsystems.co.nz/pages/home.php


Subject: Silkstone
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 22:14:25 -0500
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Wayne S. Barnett" <wayneb@ev1.net>

I have recently come across a rock called silkstone from Minnesota.  Does
anyone know anything about it, what it is, and if it is available anywhere?


Houston, getting hot and humid










PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)





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Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!


     A tiny but dignified old lady was among a group looking at an art
exhibition in a newly opened gallery.  Suddenly one contemporary
painting caught her eye.

     "What on earth," she inquired of the artist standing nearby, "is

     He smiled condescendingly. "That, my dear lady, is supposed to be a
mother and her child."

     "Well, then," snapped the little old lady, "why isn't it?"


It's the most unhappy people who most fear change.

---Mignon McLaughlin---


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