Monday, May 29, 2017

5.29.17 The Official Start of Summer

#2 son - Oahu, North Shore 2012
In most places, today - Memorial Day - is the official start of summer, and although we had a really pleasant spring here in Austin, we have already hit 90 (more than once) and turned on the AC.

With summer comes iced tea, snow cones, flip flops...and the beach...which makes this a good time to write about surfite. I've mentioned it before, but I've worked with it quite a bit recently, and now seems like a good time to write a little more about it.

Photo credit: Nicole Conklin, Instagram

Surfite falls into the category of "one man's trash is another man's treasure" in the same vein as Fordite, or Detroit agate, in which layers of car enamel are cut into cabochons by lapidary artists as if they were stone.

I first spotted it on Instagram when Nicole Conklin of Arrok Metal Studio posted some pictures of raw surfite and the cabochons that her husband, Marty, had started to cut from it.

Surfite from Cape Fear Resin Works,
pendant available on Etsy
I've been fortunate to get some great pieces from both Nicole and Marty, and Jess Johnson of Cape Fear Resin Works (you should also check out his wife, Cameron, who does beautiful work with enamel and sea glass) to use in my jewelry making.

As you know, when I start a piece, it needs to have a story - so I decided I would put beach themed cut outs on the back of my first batch of surfite pieces.  I love the way the stripes came through on this angelfish, and because when ever we go to the beach we visit lighthouses, I had to cut out one of those.
Tybee Lighthouse, Savannah GA

Recently, I used raw surfite (polished but not smooth) from
Marty at Arroks, in two of my STATEment pendants.

Raw surfite from ArroksRocks

Surfite from Cape Fear Resin Works,
pendant available on Etsy

I love using natural stones, but there are so many materials available to work with, it's fun to branch out and try new things - especially when it someone has turned "trash" into something so beautiful.

Until next time.

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