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Monthly Archives: October 2013

This may or may not be actual Harlequin Quartz – which is supposed to have “both red/scarlet and silver inclusions of lepidocrocite, hematite, and titanium.” But it certainly is a quartz crystal with interesting inclusions. I cut the stone, leaving the natural surface of the crystal on top (the table.)

Ring: Silver, harlequin quartz

Ring: Silver, harlequin quartz

Ring: Silver, harlequin quartz

Ring: Silver, harlequin quartz

 

The stone dealer had two opals that she couldn’t sell. They were an awkward pointy shape. I bought them fairly cheap and, at some risk to the stones, ground the points off to produce this long oval shape, and re-polished them. Here’s one. The other was sold before I got around to photographing it.

Ring: Silver, blue opal

Ring: Silver, blue opal

Ring: Silver, blue opal

Ring: Silver, blue opal

I made some rings as follows:

I had a lot of scrap wax, so I melted some into those aluminium containers that “tea light” candles come in. When the wax had set, I heated the tip of a tapered mandrel, and melted it into the center of the wax. Clamp the mandrel with its wax in the chuck of a flexible-shaft drill, and you have a little lathe – various tools – burins, files, little chisels – can be brought up to the spinning wax.

I turned the blanks – 2 framing ridges on the sides and a smooth curving blank in the middle, then decorated the middle sections – with engraving, carving and adding small blobs of wax.

IMG_5216

I recently carved some wax models for earrings, using animal motifs. Carving charm-sized figures is laborious, but I have had rubber moulds made, so that they are reproducible and can be sold at a reasonable price.

Earrings: Cats: Silver, peridots

Earrings: Cats: Silver, peridots

Earrings: Cats: Silver

Earrings: Cats: Silver

Earrings: Silver, small hares

Earrings: Small hares, Silver

The little hare is also good as a stud, though they don’t seem to run as these ones do when they move.

Earrings: Hares: Silver

Earrings: Hares: Silver

Earrings: Hares: Silver, citrines

Earrings: Hares: Silver, citrines

Earrings: Birds: Silver

Earrings: Birds: Silver

Earrings: Elephants: Silver

Earrings: Elephants: Silver

Earrings: Elephants: Silver, amethysts

Earrings: Elephants: Silver, amethysts

 

drought

Tell

Now we have stumbled into trouble
Such as we had never expected.
Always we were able to muddle
Past or away from each obstacle.
It was as though we were protected,
But it was just a working strategy.

Now this looks like an insoluble riddle,
And if things really are connected
Then we have fallen far into trouble
And the world is not as hospitable
As we had always expected,
Or perhaps hoped, it would be.

With each doubling the problems redouble,
But our capacity has not adapted
To keep up, and we are unable,
Having found our way into trouble,
To see any way we can be protected
From our self-inflicted calamity.

break

Inner Ear

I awake to find the half-lit room turning
With a hurrying movement, clockwise.
Everything is still, and yet rushing
Around me as I try to stand, fumbling,
Groping for the bedpost. Do my eyes
Believe the whirling world? My knees
Correct in vain. Everything is tumbling
By me, spinning without moving, silently
Processing as I stumble and try to rise.

porcupine descending a staricase

The porcupines sometimes come down from the mountain above our house, through a built-up area, and into our garden where they dine on the bulbs of arum lilies. I created a poem which is both static and mobile, and which uses the black and white of the lines of words to somehow reflect the black and white quills. I used flexagons to give the poem mobility and a recombinant quality reminiscent of the random-but-purposive movement of the porcupines.

Porcupine descending a staircase is a poem that can be folded into two different hexaflexagons.

Here are the instructions for making the 3D Hexaflexagon. It is a fun thing to do and the flexagons are really fascinating of themselves.

1: You will find the poem here: 3d hex. It’s a .pdf file. Print it out on A4 paper.

3dhex01

2: Using scissors, cut the poem out carefully along the outline. You will then have a strip shaped like the figure above, where black is cut away, and grey will be folded under.
3dhex02
3: Fold both ways along each line. Accuracy is very important.
3dhex03
4: Fold the triangles with grey lettering under their corresponding triangles, in the numbered order  to form a ‘snake’.
3dhex04
5: Glue the parts to be tucked under, using a clear, quick-drying household glue.
3dhex05
6: Finally, tuck the last tetrahedron (4 & 5) into the gap left in the opposite end of the strip, and glue it in place.
You will now have a hexaflexagon that is ready to roll. The poem will appear in new combinations.
But it won’t appear in as many combinations as the 2D hexaflexagon, which is essentially a folded strip that allows its facets to cycle in various combinations.
You can download and print the 2D version of the poem here: 2d hex 2
Print it out and cut out the two strips. Glue them together into one strip. You’ll find good instructions for folding it here: http://www.maths.uq.edu.au/~infinity/Infinity%2012/hexaflex.html

Search for ‘flexagon’ on the internet, for more on these fascinating folding figures.