At work in my studio

Working some turquoise, starting from the raw material to the finished pieces.

For small pieces like this, the first step is cutting (in this case using a water cooled diamond saw).

For larger pieces, the rough material is "slabbed" (cut into 1/4 inch thick slices) using larger diamond saws that are oil cooled. 

Multiple cuts to get the rough shape and then each piece is cut in half to yield my trademark mirror images.  Here, you can see two pair that have been cut and are ready for the next stage.

Multiple cuts to get the rough shape and then each piece is cut in half to yield my trademark mirror images.  Here, you can see two pair that have been cut and are ready for the next stage.

And now the grinding starts using water cooled diamond embedded grinding wheels to achieve the final rough shape

And now the grinding starts using water cooled diamond embedded grinding wheels to achieve the final rough shape

After grinding the first piece, mirror image mate has to be worked to match it.

After grinding the first piece, mirror image mate has to be worked to match it.

The full grinding, sanding and polishing process uses 8 different diamond wheels with grit sizes ranging from 40 to 100,000.

The full grinding, sanding and polishing process uses 8 different diamond wheels with grit sizes ranging from 40 to 100,000.

Some pieces require an additional polish using a metal oxide polish and felt wheel

Some pieces require an additional polish using a metal oxide polish and felt wheel

And here is an example of the before and after showing the rough native material and two pair of earrings created from that piece.

And here is an example of the before and after showing the rough native material and two pair of earrings created from that piece.