If you ever visit Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park, make sure to step into the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building. Inside you’ll discover walls lined with displays. Arranged in glass cases are crystals, fossils, jade carvings, handmade jewelry and a whole lot more.
You might not view, however, what goes on behind the scenes.
During this weekend’s December Nights event, the public was invited into several rooms where students were transforming minerals and gems into works of art!
I confess that as a boy I had a rock tumbler. Promising stones found on the beach would be rounded and polished in the simple tumbler until they seemed like bright bits of treasure. I also had an uncle who enjoyed lapidary as a hobby–he gave me a tiny fire opal cabochon as a present one year.
Have you considered working with metals, gems and minerals? I’m sure it would be a lot of fun!
I see the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society offers many very affordable classes. You can learn faceting, metal fabrication, casting, carving…
During my behind-the-scenes look yesterday, I spoke to one friendly teacher and watched students grinding and polishing minerals using specialized machines. And I took these photographs in the “cab room” where spheres and cabochons are created!
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