Monday, August 23, 2010

Hand Cut Cabochon Giveaway from Cabbing Rough

By on Monday, August 23, 2010 70 Comments

Cabbing Rough on Etsy (UPDATE - shop is no longer active) is actually a family affair - Laura, Karl, her husband, their kids and Grandma Connie. Their story could be summed up as follows - a family that rocks together, stays together!

It's also a feel good turnaround story at a time when so many businesses are struggling. Cabbing Rough started after Karl had to close down his flooring business 2 years ago.  The stalled economy and Laura's health were but two reasons which forced him to do so. He got the idea for a hand cut cabochon business from rock collections and his desire to help Laura who was making jewelry to sell and bring in some income.


The family business brought unexpected benefits - two stay-at-home parents who are much more involved with their children's lives. Karl has even become a neighborhood inspiration - he is known as the Rock Man! Their 5 year old daughter, Molly can not only identify stones but has learned to cut them too. As you can see, Karl is a great teacher - those safety glasses look so cute on her. Two of their 3 sons, the 10 and 11 year old boys have even had rock cutting parties!

Have you ever wondered how lapidarists like them cut and polish gemstones and turn them into cabochons? Well, some people asked Laura and she responded by posting several pictures in the About Jewelry forum. It was a fascinating series showing the whole process which Laura let me reproduce here.

How to Cut a Rock

Considering that they start off with 2-10 lb rocks, I'd say they get good arm workouts!

Here's Karl slicing up a landscape jasper from Madacascar on the smaller of their two saws. The saw runs with oil so Laura is quite content to let Karl do this icky bit.

Once the slabs are cut, Laura takes them upstairs to her table. This is where the fun begins.

Shown are slabs of Jafar Jasper (black and white), teepee canyon (orange), regency rose plume agate (clear/pink), and Mooka Jasper (red and yellow)

She says, "Upstairs I'll draw shapes on the slabs for what I may like to cut. Sometimes slabs will sit here for months before I see what I want."  This Jafar jasper shows her chosen markings.

There are clearly many ways a lapidarist can cut a stone but to choose the best shape taking in account the natural pattern of the stone clearly requires a good eye and skill.

Once the decision is made, the stone slabs are returned to the saw to be "trimmed out" or roughly shaped. Shown here is a trimmed ocean jasper.

Laura then spends time shaping the piece on her 100 grit diamond wheel. This particular gemstone is a laguna agate.

This step takes time so she likes listening to music at the same time. She says other people like to attach a dowel to the back of the piece as a handle (called dopping) but she says she likes torturing her hands instead!

Here is the shaped laguna agate which still needs sanding and polishing.

Hand cut cabochon is definitely a labor intensive process. There are 7 sanding steps with progressively finer grit to get all the scratches out. Polishing requires 3 different pads with diamond paste to get that shiny look.

The picture on the left shows Laura using her right hand. She is normally left handed but was forced to switch for a few days as she had sanded off all the fingernails on her dominant hand. Laura is definitely a manicurist's nightmare!

The finished cabochon on the left is a beautiful coyamito agate. It shows off her skill at showcasing the natural beauty of the rock.

Giveaway
Cabbing Rough is giving away the drop dead gorgeous red dryhead agate cabochon you see at the top.  It's especially reserved for the winner of this giveaway.  Dryhead agates come from Montana. The strange name comes from the bison skulls found nearby. The Crow Native Americans used to drive the bison over a cliff. They would then ceremoniously arrange the skulls.

To enter, all you you have to do is make a comment below. Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower or also on Facebook Fan page or Twitter. The giveaway ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday August 30. I will pick a winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after.

Meanwhile, you might like to check out this past tutorial post on how to wire wrap cabochons.

______________________________
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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70 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story, not all married couples can work together! The cabochons are beautiful. The coyamito agate cabochon looks like a sunrise.

    What a lot of work to make these beautiful treasures.

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  2. Hi, Pearl!

    I love Laura's cabs! She does beautiful work and I keep drooling over her posts every time!
    I'm also a follower of her blog and a fan on FB, so... I'm keeping my fingers crossed here!
    lol

    A big kiss for you and thank you for sharing!

    Cristina, from Sunshine's Creations

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  3. Cabochon's are my absolute favourite cut, whether it be stones or gems. I'm off to find out more about this couple. Thanks!

    Hi Pearl, hope you're having a good summer.

    Cranky Pants (or Carol as you normally know her)

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  4. WOW! I keep coming back to Cabbing Rough and drooling over their creations. I'm glad that you didn't ask us to choose a favorite because there's no way I could. They are all beautiful!!

    Marge

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  5. I discovered Cabbing Rough on FaceBook a few weeks ago. Love their cabs. Now I know more about the people behind the profile. That makes it even more special.

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  6. Thanks for the tip - I always find it difficult to locate the kinds of cabs I want to work with, but my first visit to Cabbing Rough hit the spot!

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  7. Wow, I have bought from them -- their stuff is beautiful. I had no idea all the work that goes into making the stones so eye -popping. Thanks for telling us:-)

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  8. Love this story, the cabs are beautiful. This is the kind of info I love to see on your blog, Pearl - stories about jewellery we don't get anywhere else. Thanks so much :)
    Sue W. (in Whitby, ON)

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  9. Eeek! I would NOT want my fingers that close to a sander! But, it would be more precise, so I'm sure it's one of the reasons why their pieces are so beautiful!

    Thanks for posting this--it's so interesting to see how these cabochons are made, and now I have a new shop to bookmark and swoon over. :-)

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  10. Great story! I love Laura's cabs and it's really interesting to see what goes into making them so beautiful. Thanks!

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  11. What a great story and a beautiful cab!

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  12. What a lovely Agate! It reminds me of morning where I grew up in Africa.

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  13. It is always inspiring to see families working together.

    I enjoy your postings so much, very informative and entertaining, thanks a lot.

    Mariana via Hubpages

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  14. Those cabochons are terrific! Will definitely buy some...

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  15. Thanks so much for this terrific story with its beautiful photos - GORGEOUS cabochons!

    Also thanks to you and Cabbing Rough for such a nice giveaway - I'd be thrilled to win ANYTHING they cut!

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  16. love the cabochons; what a nice story. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.

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  17. Gorgeous cabs! Using a dop is kind of a paint- I cut a couple of stones once, and sometimes it's difficult to get the stone to stay on the end because it's just secured with wax. (On the other hand, your fingers are way safer, so it's a trade off.)

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  18. I appreciated the post. Have always wondered how these cabs are made.
    I'd love to have my name in the drawing for this gorgeous cab you are giving away. Thanks!

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  19. WOW! This is beautiful! And a great story too. I'd love to tell your story on my blog. Maybe an interview? Meanwhile, please enter me in your giveaway. And best of luck to you.
    Barbara

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  20. Love that cab. It is so pretty. Thanks for the link to their etsy site. So many great cabs to choose from

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  21. I would love that gorgeous cab. I follow your blog and facebook. Thanks for sharing such a labour intensive process. It is good to see how our components are made for us, before we turn them into beautiful adornments.

    Bobbie

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  22. Spectacular work! Thanks for the great article and for the opportunity to win a truly beautiful cabochon.

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  23. Wow. sure enjoyed the story and pics on how to pick and cutting and creating the finish product So very interesting. And a BIG thank you for a chance to win one of your beautiful works of art. Will have to look for you on Facebook.

    Dora Harrison

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  24. Those are gorgeous! I love that down-the-middle shot, how cool that that rock is actually so impressive on the inside!

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  25. Thanks so much for the giveaway! These are gorgeous.
    twigerina[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  26. This was a fascinating post. Have they tried tumbleing their stones as well.

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  27. Now that's what I call a family business, doing what you love and love doing it. Thank you all, for the generous giveaway, they are all gorgeous.

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  28. Wonderful stuff - thanks for profiling the cab cutting family!

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  29. Interesting info and I love this website:)
    earthdancedaph@yahoo.com

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  30. Christina - xristya@rock.com - The Red Dry Agate Cabuchon is SOOO beautiful, and the interview about the process was so interesting!

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  31. Beautiful! Thanks for the chance to win!

    Joan@LTDBeads.com

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  32. Oh, and I get your blog delivered to my inbox.
    — Joan@LTDBeads.com

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  33. I have had the pleasure of working with Laura and Karl on my blog as well. Loved reading about the process!

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  34. Count me in please. Thanks for the recent tuts Pearl they have been great. Looking for a cement mixer to tumble my rocks now. Keep you posted, markets and festivals soon over, will be time to get back to making inventory. Hope you are well, peace

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  35. Awesome story, love that the kids can get in on it.

    Atoxim at gmail dot com

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  36. Great article and adorable jewelry! please count me in:)

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  37. Absolutely beautiful cab! I never knew the work that went into creating one. I now have a greater appreciation. Thanks!

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  38. I love agates - I've collected rocks and gems from my earliest childhood. This one is gorgeous! Please enter me!

    matt_owns_me{at}yahoo{dot}com

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  39. I'm a blog follower (Google Friend Connect / Blogger)
    I subscribe via RSS feed (My Yahoo! reader)
    I also follow through Twitter @BountyHunter338

    matt_owns_me{at}yahoo{dot}com

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  40. This is lovely work, she has a great eye for framing the rocks! kcarlson1152[at]hotmail.com

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  41. It's hard to believe how much work goes into creating beautiful stones!
    cheatingpiggies at hotmail dot com

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  42. I would love to be entered for this. my daughter wants to be a geologist when she grows up and she already has a beautiful collection.


    boswife @ gmail . com

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  43. You are doing a wonderful inspiring job. Thank you.

    egle dot mane at gmail dot com

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  44. I have always loved rocks and gemstones. At one time, my son wanted to get into the business but couldn't afford school.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  45. You're talking about making glass tile pendants with images. Just check at these past tutorial posts -

    http://www.beadinggem.com/2010/02/tutorials-make-your-own-glass-bubble.html

    http://www.beadinggem.com/2009/11/how-to-make-soldered-and-non-soldered.html

    Have fun!

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  46. Such a lovely stone - it tickles my inner collecting-pretty-things-magpie self. Count me in. ^^

    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

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  47. I'm now following this blog via GFC! :)
    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

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  48. I hope I am correct in thinking each entry is a separate comment. :)
    I became a Facebook follower. My username on there is wunderfraulein.
    so.kitsch at gmail dot com

    Thank you!

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  49. What a lovely story behind this beautiful hand-
    cut jewelry. I love when each piece is so unique!
    Many thanks, Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  50. Also, I am an email subscriber to your blog.
    We are friends on Facebook...
    Again, many thanks!
    Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  51. I'm very much a laura/karl fan! I'm waiting anxiously for 2 cabs that I got last week. I'm so sure I'll be back for more! I also signed up for your blog and fanned you. I'm glad I found you Pearl :)

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  52. I've had the pleasure of meeting Laura and Karl.. I had them cut some Spectrolite for me that I had purchased from a man in Finland. I have purchased many cabs from Cabbing Rough and they are all beautiful. The stones have a very organic feel to them. Since I make very organic jewelry...it's a match made in cab heaven.

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  53. I never knew that they were that labor intensive. Thank you for the photo lesson.

    I am a follower of your blog.

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  54. I love the way they work together. I've been trying to get my Hubby interested in cabbing but he just can't seem to get into it :-( I would love to be entered into the draw.

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  55. Beautiful! I had no idea they were so labor intensive. Please enter me in the draw. Thank you.

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  56. Great giveaway! I'd love to be entered.

    Please count me in. Thanks.

    avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

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  57. I'd love to enter! :)

    I'm following as Jasmine1485
    I'm following on Twitter (@NTFancy)
    I'm a fan on Facebook (Kate Ryan)

    Kate1485 at hotmail.com

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  58. This is so fascinating to me. I collect many stones and always wondered about the process of making a cabochon. Thank you and it is beautiful!
    I am now following your blog with GFC

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  59. Very beautiful stone! I hope I win :)

    annabell_lee_dk (at) yahoo.com

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  60. Email subscriber.

    annabell_lee_dk (at) yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  61. Follow you on twitter: https://twitter.com/sweepstakelover

    annabell_lee_dk (at) yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  62. Love your site and your work. So glad to hear good news about a family business.

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  63. this will be perfect for my rock garden! I am always looking for cool things for it.
    theknitwitbyshair@hotmail.com
    www.theknitwitbyshair.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  64. Their work is amazing!!

    i follow the blog via GFC (Alexa1202)
    email: alexa12_02[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  65. Lovely story & beautiful pieces :)

    reenas85(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  66. I subscribe via e-mail - reenas85(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  67. I like The Beading Gem on facebook - Reena Sha

    reenas85(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  68. A very interesting and educational site to visit. Great giveaway.
    jhbalvin at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  69. Just subscribed by email.
    jhbalvin at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  70. beautiful work! Hope I get it.

    ReplyDelete

 

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