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Do I Make It A Bead Or Ball


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As I am getting totally burnt out on making benches and such for the new studio I took a break and made this ball. The ball is made of rhyolite that is a common material around the area of New Mexico I live in. Most is not this colorful so this is an extra special piece.


I don’t know if most would consider this a carving, I sure do. Years ago I started out with a piece of rough stone and cut it into long “logs” with the plan of making long barrel shaped beads. In my recent boredom I cut an end off of one of the logs and then hand shaped this almost perfect square into a rough ball, I then used a technique “proprietary info” to do the final rounding, all free hand with the aid of tools.


The piece is not quite to final polish but I am so pleased with the results and its been such a long time since I’ve posted anything I thought I’d share it with all of the folks on the CP forum.


I am not sure if I am going to leave it as a ball that looks like a planet, or drill a hole in it and make it into a two eye bead. The size is a little under 20mm or a little over 3/4 inch.






Hope you enjoy .......... All my best .......... Danny

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Hi Danny,


It is good to see you here again. I am glad that you took a little creative 'vacation' from the construction.


I would have a hard time with making the decision to put holes into it. The sphere and the stone's visual strengths give no indication where two wholes should go. It is beautiful as it ls. I won't be much help with making your decision, sorry!


Smiles to you,



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I live near Tamworth NSW Australia, my cousin and fried John Taggart would be one of Australias if not the worlds best gem sphere makers, he has spheres of just about every gem rock in Australia, he goes to the Tuscon gem and mineral show every year, john uses special cutting, grinding and polishing machines that are automatic, he even has them made of precious opal, I think it would be better left as is, but with a high polish,you can get small stands for these, I may post a few pics of his work.


Cheers michael B

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Exceptional stone and great job in rounding it by hand. I made a crystal ball entirely by hand recently, about 40cm, so I have a new found respect and appreciation for sphere making. Mine's nowhere near as perfect as yours, but as it kept getting away from me on the wheels, I thought an almost perfect one was better than nothing at all.


Maybe you could build a cage-like setting for it, so no hole would have to be drilled.


Hope you get your studio finished soon and looking forward to all the great things you're going to be making.


Debbie K

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The next time you cut a sphere get it as round as possible by hand and then get some type of tubing that is a bit smaller than the sphere, maybe three quater its size. If you have a true running spining tube you can use grit and water and just keep moving the ball around and around with your fingers on the hole of the tube, in doing this the ball has no choice but to come out nearly perfectly round ............ It works great as you can see from the one I posted.


All my best .......... Danny


P.S. The sphere I posted measures within .003 inch in all directions, I expect it will even get closer when I polish it.


All my best ...... Danny

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Danny, great job and a great idea for a cheap sphere tool for my buddy trying to get into that. If you have time maybe you could post a pic in tools?

I hope the planet idea is set firmly in your mind because when I saw that I thought of Jupiter. Perfect representation without any frills, polish optional.

Finding nearly invisible wire or line to hang it from is the tough part. :unsure:


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