Shop Local!

While the stones and minerals used in my work are from all over the world, my favorite place to purchase them is Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop in Evanston, Illinois. I discovered Dave’s years ago with my daughters. Not only did we find a wide range of beautiful stones, minerals, and fossils, but also the Prehistoric Life Museum in the basement.  Over the years, my daughters and I have introduced many of their friends to the wonders of Dave’s. I now have the pleasure of exciting my fellow mosaic enthusiasts with a visit to the museum and shopping the wonderful finds Dave’s has to offer.

Amethyst Stalactite slice from Brazil
Fossil Fish / Diplomystus dentatus from Green River Formation, Wyoming, USA
Pyrite specimen from Peru
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Treasure

Samples  from my treasure trove
 

Recently, I felt like I struck gold. I was invited by a lapidary (art of cutting and polishing stone) instructor to come raid the scrap buckets of stone at the studio where he teaches. He has been saving the discarded pieces for years, for what, he wasn’t sure.  In the back of his mind he must have known someone would appreciate them as I do.

As I sort the stones by color, texture, size and shape, I’m taking my time to admire their natural beauty as I try to identify them.  In my treasure trove I’ve discovered lapis, jade, obsidian, chrysocolla, copper, quartz, agate, jasper, fossils and so much more. Already, I have numerous projects in mind for my find.