The Waldorf School asked us if they could visit the club again this year, and Claire Vaskys organised the day for them. Thank you very much Claire.

Also a big thank you to Rinda who had kept all the little offcuts of stones, and dopped them in preparation for the children to grind and polish, and who managed the workshop while they were busy between machines. 

Thank you to Marsiglio who brought his tools, raw and finished materials, and allowed the kids to take his rock pick and smash it into a piece of wood so they could feel what it is like to use. In addition, Marsiglio did a very nice introduction to our hobby and showed some fluorescent minerals which really intrigued everyone.

Thank you to Annette Taylor who donated drilled rock crystal points and rope for the children to make  their own necklaces, and brought an array of interesting items to show the children and for them to possibly buy. She oversaw the crafts table where the children were assisted in identifying and gluing their specimens correctly on the charts that Claire had given them. They were told how to spot some manufactured or dyed stones and then shown some interesting things such as extra-terrestrial and fossilised matter, turritella agate, and shark teeth.

Thank you to Shamen, Sam and Hendrik for helping the kids saw material, and shape and polish stones in the workshop, as well as explaining the silversmithing side to them. Most of the children really enjoyed the workshop despite the fact that their teacher neglected to tell them to dress to get wet and dirty. They loved seeing the rocks go from rough to shiny. Whenever an eager one spotted a lull in the queue they would jump right in to do more polishing. In the sawing room all the children were taken through the procedure of sawing stones safely. After a hesitant start their confidence grew when they saw that the blade wasn’t cutting their fingers.

And not forgetting Lesley who showed the children how to use a binocular microscope, told them about what kind of rock it is useful for (not the coarse-grained type!). Then she showed them how to use a microscope if you want to separate valuable material from rubbish, and finally they looked at some pretty crystalline micromounts. The crystals were popular with the girls but the boys were more interested in the process aspects – what mineralogists can do to earn a living!

As always the morning was very much enjoyed by all.

Working a cabochon on a Green Goblin. After a group effort, the first cabochon was completed to the final polishing stage.
We gave it to them on the dopstick for a keepsake.

Photo courtesy of Marsiglio and Rinda