Have you ever cut stone or made a cabochon? I got my first taste at a play date with Ann Davis and now I have a serious case of tool lust.
I met the incomparable Ann at my first Metal Clay conference this year. We started chatting on Facebook about the Silhouette cutting machine and when I mentioned I was visiting my sister in DC in August Ann invited me to play in her studio!
The big day came and my sister dropped me off at LaRuche Davis. Ann is an amazing person – so warm and fun to talk with. Her studio is equally impressive. I don’t have pictures but Ann wrote a lovely article in Metal Clay Artist Magazine Sept 2012 issue where you can see more pictures and read about how she went through a reorganization.
Ann asked what I wanted to play with. To say I could’ve been the donkey starving between choice bits of succulent hay is an understatement. She has *everything*! Ann describes jerself as a pyrolitic artist. Lampworking, electroforming, metal clay, lapidary – you name it she’s got it!
I finally chose to cut a cabochon. I picked out a shape and drew it on a slab of tigeriron. Ann first showed me how to cut on the Torus ring saw. Can I say tool lust? Yummmm. You can cut in any direction on the torus ring saw.
Once I had a piece roughed out she showed me her Cab King cabbing machine. It has multiple spinning disks with varying grades of grit. I refined the shape, then started angling in the sides for the dome. Cabbing can be messy but very therapeutic (at least to me!).
It took a while but I finally got a semi-respectable cabochon! I learned I love cutting cabs, it suits my temperament as well as lifestyle (I can pick it up and put it down if I get interrupted which is quite a lot). Spending the afternoon with Ann was also great because I have a hard time setting aside time in my own studio to just play and learn something new without feeling I have to produce something.