Summer Adventures and Intro to Tumbling
Happy September! I can't believe how quick the summer went by. Summer means relaxing, traveling, and exploring a new place, and Cape May lived up to all my expectations and more.
I went down to Cape May for the first time a few weeks ago and immediately fell in love. It’s the perfect little beach town, with pristine beaches, cute shops, historical landmarks, and not a ton of people. I grew up going to the Jersey Shore, frequenting beaches such as Keansburg Beach, Point Pleasant, and Seaside Heights, which are nice in their own right but way too crowded for me now. If you haven't been to Cape May, please consider going. You won't be disappointed.
While there, I was introduced to ‘Cape May Diamonds’, quartz pebbles that are found on the beaches of Cape May that have a similar look and feel as real diamonds after processing. Needless to say, I was fascinated, and quickly went to the beach and found as many pebbles as I could. Then, I immediately bought a rotary tumbler to make them.
Now I'm not usually this impulsive, but it was like a lightbulb went off when I saw the tumbler and the diamonds. I just had to have it. And thus here we are, attempting to make these diamonds and not having a clue to how its going to turn out. In some ways, I feel that's the best way to learn something new, to jump right in and give it your best. Its all a learning experience and in time it will become second nature.
Tumblers can be used for other processes, such as glossing up sea glass, smoothing out stones, and firming up shells, as well as shining up silver. Each one has a different process and tumbling time. For instance, sea glass is softer than quartz and thus takes a shorter time to tumble.
For Cape May Diamonds, it takes approximately 3 weeks to get from a rough quartz to a smooth, polished finished stone. Each week corresponds to a different phase of the cycle. You have the medium grit tumbling, fine grit tumbling, and the polishing stage, with each stage lasting for about a week. You can also stop at any stage depending on what look you are trying to achieve. I am attempting to get the clear look so I will be doing the full 3 weeks. I am currently in week 3 and am excited to see how this turns out!