Lightning Ridge is part of New South Wales - or it's a world apart depending on how you look at things. I was lucky enough to see Gale Collins's three act performance at the Black Queen. The story, the place, the lamps.. it all fires the imagination and the opals are a beautiful mystery. The "overburden" is sandstone. There's a piece, newly quarried, sitting in the garden.
There's a smaller piece in the studio... so I've put out that I want tips on carving sandstone - both at home and out there, off the grid, in Lightning Ridge. Kevin Free came to the rescue.... and reassured me that my slice and dice method for getting rid of larger bits was the way to go... he gave me the name of some cool tools and told me to keep the stone damp.....
Just as well it was raining when I started since my respirator only helps me - and the room filtration system only works inside the studio.
The form is emerging from the stone - the grain is smooth and even - there's no shattering and the colours are subtle. Lovely stuff!
So for the next little while the water spray will be my friend - along with the powered respirator and together we'll release what's in there.
The leopard wood is pretty cool too - there's a few right where the stone is standing - does it grow any where else? I don't know.
|Leopard wood at the Black Queen|