The rugged Maine coastline is primarily granite, though occasional
occurances of slate and basalt liven things up for beachcombers.
The slate is softer to work with and erodes on the beach into every
shape. We collect the stones and separate them by size and shape,
little round ones, triangles, long thin oblongs and occasional squares.
practice it has become possible to discern which stones will drill
through with cobalt bits and which will require diamond. The stone
is dark gray when found, but turns black quickly when it contacts
the skin oils.
About the process Collecting the sea glass and beach stones
is clearly the best part of making these unique designs, but is
only the beginning. After the fun part the treasures must be sorted
by size, shape, and color to begin to find matches for earrings
and other designs. Once a piece is designed it is either wrapped
with sterling silver wire or drilled. Stones
are drilled with cobalt drills. The sea glass and some harder stones
require high-speed diamond drillbits and a jewelers drill with an
RPM of 6000-25000 immersed in lubricant. If you use a slow regular
wood drill you will dull your bits so fast itíll make you crazy.
Yes, the sea glass and stones sometime break under the drill. If
you want to set yourself up to drill glass please wear safety goggles!
(and take off your rings). Sometimes it takes up to 45 minutes to
drill a thick piece of glass Ė so be patient. Any technical tips
are greatly appreciated.
Check out a full array of beachstone jewelry in the Gallery!