I mentioned a couple of days ago that Gale recently acquired some material of a sort I’d never seen previously. One he was working on when I went up there was opalized petrified wood.
He’d never seen any before, either, so he polished up this piece just to get an idea what he was working with.
He’d just finished cutting this piece and it was a bit oily from the saw. It’s going to be a beautiful chunk of rock when it’s polished. Beneath it’s another recent acquisition, zebra agate, formed from river delta bottom mud. The paisley’s caused by the shells of marine life. He hasn’t slabbed and polished any of it yet.
This gives you an idea of the size of the chunk he got. He doesn’t expect to ever see any again, so he’s trying to plan ahead carefully insofar as what he’ll make from it.
Meanwhile he’s keeping three saws working up there slabbing the jewelry quality stone he picked up at the San Antonio Rock and Mineral Show, hmm or maybe it was Austin, a few days back.
I’ve been friends with Gale since 1970. At the time our circle of friends used to joke Gale was the busiest person any of us had ever met. Most of them are dead, or faded into history, so I’m the only one left to testify. He’s still the busiest man I’ve ever known.
Here’s one of the last several remaining of those Siberian Wolf Fang pendants he was working on a while back.
Here’s another of those recent acquisitions just off the saw.
Watching Gale work used to be a hair-raising experience back 30-35 years ago before he lost that finger. He became a legend for a while by making a fairly detailed chess set out of exotic woods using a radial arm saw, holding each piece between two fingers while he made his cuts with the saw.
I occasionally remind him of this piece of history and he always replies, “That wasn’t what I cut the finger off doing.”
Miracles do happen.