Find fos­sils and gem­stones in your own back­yard

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Community News - By Tina Ma­gen­nis of Gem­stone Club

With build­ing works around our re­gion re­veal­ing long-buried fos­sils and rocks, it pays to keep your eyes peeled. John Vin­cent, pres­i­dent of the Hawkes­bury Val­ley Lap­idary Club, says that pet­ri­fied wood and chert can of­ten be found around River­stone, Vine­yard and Rich­mond. Di­a­mond Hill in Kur­ra­jong is sit­ting on an ex­tinct vol­cano that brought di­a­monds to the sur­face of the earth when it was ac­tive 200 mil­lion years ago.

The Hawkes­bury Lap­idary Club runs reg­u­lar fos­sick­ing trips in the lo­cal area and around NSW to col­lect min­er­als and fos­sils. These rocks can be used to make jew­ellery, coast­ers, book­ends, other dec­o­ra­tive home­wares and fur­ni­ture. An episode of Grand De­signs fea­tured a kitchen sink made from pet­ri­fied wood.

Once you have found your rock, you can learn how to turn this rock to jew­ellery at the Hawkes­bury Val­ley Lap­idary Club. Reg­u­lar classes and work­shops teach mem­bers how to grind, shape and pol­ish gem­stones to make the most of their nat­u­ral fea­tures. Sil­ver and wire wrap­ping classes show you how to make cus­tomised pro­fes­sional look­ing jew­ellery. Mem­bers can also learn how to fuse glass in a mi­crowave oven to cre­ate spec­tac­u­lar bright-coloured jew­ellery.

John Vin­cent en­cour­ages new mem­bers to join the Club. A stock of rough gem­stones is avail­able to pur­chase, so you can get started even if you haven’t found a stone. On the day I vis­ited the Club, Ian and Shan­tae from Bligh Park were tak­ing their first les­son as part of the Chil­dren’s Class. Mem­ber­ship fees start at $20 for ju­nior mem­bers and $35 for adults.

The Wind­sor Gem and Min­eral Fair will be held at the Wind­sor Func­tion Cen­tre on 25-26 Novem­ber to give you a head start on Christ­mas shop­ping. Unique jew­ellery, gem­stones, beads, opals, carv­ings and fos­sils will be avail­able for sale.

The Club also has reg­u­lar sale days on the sec­ond Satur­day of ev­ery month at the Rich­mond School of Arts An­nex.

En­quiries about the Hawkes­bury Val­ley Lap­idary Club should be made to John on 0414 844 507 or jev@in­tern­ or Richard on 02 4565 0492.

Start­ing young – Ian aged 8 and Shan­tae aged 9 have their first les­son

Glass jew­ellery made in a mi­crowave

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