So Many Options

April 10, 2014 by Tom

I picked up some very nice new Crystals and Minerals, to use in my sculptures, at this year’s Tucson Gem Show. I always enjoy going to the Shows and looking at what’s available, and imagining what I could do with all these beautiful materials. It does require a lot of self control, on my part, though. I’m so tempted to buy way much more than I can use. For anyone else that loves Crystals and Minerals as much as I do, I’m sure you’ve been faced with this same problem. You can easily find yourself with that “well, maybe just one more” attitude.
I like to add some internal lighting to my sculptures, where I feel it would benefit the piece. Some of the Minerals are very solid though, and dense, which don’t allow light to shine up through them. These look much better with a light shining on them from above, the front, or sides. But the clear, to opaque, Crystals look very nice lit up from within. I’ve used small “night light” type, incandescent bulbs for this purpose, but I’ve found that much more than a 4 watt bulb generates too much heat, and sometimes 4 watts just isn’t bright enough. So I’ve been trying some different sized LED lights and, so far, I’m very happy with them. Although I’m still learning how to match up the lights themselves with the correct resistors and power supply. I’ve found that the options are almost endless, as to what’s available, as far as size, color, brightness, etc.. And some are so small they can be hidden almost anywhere. So I hope to be using many more of these in my future pieces.
I’ve also ordered quite a few new figures to work with. Most of the figures I use are made of a very high quality pewter. I’ll only use the best pieces I can find for my work. I’ve come upon another source that’s making figures out of a resin type material. They are then hand painted to very high standard. I bought a few pieces, to check them out, was very happy with their detail and quality, and then placed a larger order.
So as I make new pieces, some with lights, some without, some with pewter figures, and some with these new resin figures, I will be adding them to my site. I hope and encourage you to keep checking back — to see what’s new. At the moment I’m working on an internally lit, smoked glass bottomed, Amethyst Geode, with a tiny Mermaid wrapped around a Pearl, sleeping inside a shell. With the lights off, you only see the smoked glass “watery” bottom. But turn on the lights and you see the little scene below. A wonderful piece. If it’s still available, I hope you’ll come by my booth at next year’s TGMS Show and see it. Thanks for visiting.