Monday, September 5, 2016

Rock Club Updates for 2016

Springfield Thunderegg Rock Club Board Members for 2016

Pres.         Trish Adams
V. Pres      Bea Allen
Sec.          Dean Burkhart
Tres.         Nadine Chapin


I am amazed at how quickly this summer has gone by. Just last week I was so excited that our summer weather had finally arrived. What? No way! Are you sure it was four months ago. Wow!! How can our summers go so fast leaving us once again in the dreaded cold and rain of Oregon Winters??

There have been many opportunitites for field trips this summer. We started with Glass Butte, 4 members; then our Sunday in Vida, 14 members; our Saturday in Lebanon at Joe Cota’s with a BBQ and fossil dig, 15 members, Prineville Pow Wow, Madras Pow Wow, Federation Show in Albany, our thunder egg dig at Richardson Ranch, 6 members; followed by our Calapooia River trip, 20 adults and 3 junior members, brothers Ace, Zane and Sage. Did you know that these junior members are all State champion BMX riders? Congratulation! I hope our club members that attended any of our field trips had a wonderful time. As well as our club field trips, I am sure that many of you went on adventurous rock digs with family and friends this summer. Which brings us to our September meeting that will be held on Sept 13th at the Willamalane Adult Activity Center in the Riverview room at 7:00 pm. Our meeting will focus on members sharing their findings on digs. I encourage members to bring a few rocks to share with the club. We look forward to hearing about your adventures and seeing the results.

Our newsletters are now being sent via a private Google email list.  A big THANK YOU to Nathan and Rick. They saw a need and without hesitation volunteered to organize the mailing of our email newsletters.

Our club received a large rock donation from Nelson The Rocky-Feller Rock Shop.
They closed their rock business on Aug 30. Three club members moved about 1,000 pounds of rocks in less than two hours. Our club rock pile for our April 2017 rock show is growing rock by rock. Even though we now have a large variety of rock, we still need to make the most of any donations that may come our way. We would like to thank the Nelsons for their generous donation.

Are you interested in learning how to make a cabochon? The next Cabochon class will start on Sept 15th. The class limit is five people. Please sign up through Willamalane.

In January our club will begin the Future Rockhounds of America, AFMS/FRA Badge Program. This Program is designed for all club members under the age of 17.
If you would like to know more about this program please google
Future Rockhounds of America AFMS/FRA Badge Program.

Our club Showcase located in the Springfield Library, 225 N. 5th street, continues to draw a lot of interest. The current display of minerals can be seen until the end of this month. Dean  will display some of his collection of Thunder eggs and Geodes Oct. - Dec. A portion in the display case will be set aside for junior members to display their favorite rock. Please bring your rock for display to our Sept meeting. Include your first name, the name of the rock and where/how you acquired the rock.

Newsletter Editor
Trish Adams

Friday, August 30, 2013

It’s Show Time
October 5th & 6th 2013
Guy Lee Elementary

Hello all club members!!!  It is the time of the year we need to know how many of you folks will be helping with the show. 
We will all meet at the school on Friday the 4th at 6 pm to set up the tables and get ready for Saturday’s show. 
We are still receiving applications and hope things turn out as good as last year. 
Jim Nelson has flyers printed and we need to get them out to as many places as we can.
Lend a hand and support the show, it’s only as good as we, “our members” make it.

If anyone has some ideas or suggestions for the show, please attend the meeting on September 10th, 2013.  We need all of you there………………………………

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
Looks like Oregon has more than one “first” on the book!!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

There will be no meeting in August; instead we will have our club picnic at Island Park on the 3rd.

This is the time to show off your best recipe. 
We will meet at the south parking lot under the bridge and we have the first covered area by the water.

We will have a small meeting before we eat and do a mock up of the display we will put in the Roseburg show.  The show is September 7th & 8th, so we will have time to get a nice display for the club.  So bring a nice piece of Obsidian or something, we will put names on them so you get it back after the show.

Also John the rock carver will be at our September 10th meeting to show off his carvings.  He does real nice work, as some of you know who have met him at the rock shop.
John does a lot of opal carvings, Pat H. was telling me about a fish carving he did that was quite impressive.

Public Lands Access

The flames of change sweeping through the Federal Land Management agencies these days are causing eyebrows to raise and voices to rise over what appears to be a total disregard for the health, safety and welfare of our public lands as well as the consumptive and non-consumptive recreational users of our nations public lands.

As our public lands waste away from lack of proper funding and maintenance we are also seeing our parks and forests becoming less user friendly.  Being threatened more by the forces of man then from nature.  These actions perpetuate a growing feeling that the public’s quest for recreational freedom, the enjoyment and pursuit of a wide array of outdoor activities is diminishing and becoming more restrictive not to mention the financial cost to engage in these outdoor recreational activities.

Currently the fuel feeding the fires of concern surrounding our public lands center around a handful of agencies of our federal government.  With in the Dept. of Interior are namely the Bureau of Land Management (BLM); the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Bureau of Reclamation.  Also of extreme importance to recreational users of our public forest and grasslands is the US Forest Service, an agency within the Dept. of Agriculture.

Each of these agencies all over the country is revising their public land management policies, through a process which has come to be known as the Resources Management plan or (RMP).  This plan restricts access and use of our public lands.

Numerous reasons exist why our public lands are under attack and why the public’s recreational rights to the use and enjoyment of those lands are increasingly being restricted and diminished.  One only has to look at federal governments financial affairs to realize were broke.

 There is legislation which has been passed and executive orders issued which border on the abuse of power, which seriously impact the public by ignoring their right to take part in the decision making process.  We are living in a new age, new century and we can no longer operate and maintain the status quo. 

However your choice not to become involved in the process of public land issues whether on a local, county, state or federal level will have devastating effects on your recreational rights in the future.  Help, your input is needed.  GET INVOLVED! Attend a hearing, write a letter to your representatives, and make a phone call to you legislator.  Speak up for your self, your family and for the future of your recreational endeavors.
(Andy Johnson NW newsletter vol 53)

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Saturday, June 1, 2013

No Deposit-No Return

Membership in any organization may be likened to an investment of money in any commodity or service; the amount of personal benefit or return is in direct proportion to that which one invests.

A Gem and Mineral Society offers a forum for hobbyist of similar interests to meet, interact, discuss lapidary arts, exchange ideas, and generally participate in the mutual fellowship and stewardship of earth science. Such a society, moreover, provides a social as well as technical environment in which new information is received and disseminated, field trips are conceived, organized and executed, quality instruction is provided and most technical problems find sympathetic solutions.

One may join such a club or society, take only that which serves the self-interest, and limit participation, and limit participation in the other diverse activities of the society. Such an attitude usually results in dissatisfaction and disenchantment with the goals and objectives of the club, and eventual withdrawal by the individual from the society or club. The Gem and Mineral Society, like any investment, requires and ‘upfront’ commitment of some size in order to enjoy the dividend. In short, if you put in $110, don’t expect to get $100.00 back. On the other hand, if you commit $100 worth of time I’ll guarantee you’ll get back you investment with a predictable high return!

Holding Office
I’ve heard the complaint, “I see the same faces holding office every year. Why should I try?” Well, to whom have you volunteered your time? To who have you said, “I can help with this or that.” The procedures in operating an effective, interesting and business-like Gem and Mineral Club are no different: then running a business.

You Are Needed

You will get back only that which you are willing to put in! If you don’t invest any-
thing, it is unreasonable to expect to get anything in return. The club needs your participation, your ideas, and your time. It’s like the legislative process; if you
don’t like the way the club is going, get involved and change its direction. If you do like the way it is going, there is room in the traces for many more to join the pulling team. Every person alive possesses an experience directly applicable to one of the facets of the club’s membership and satisfactory operations. You can apply this experience directly and expect to see the results; you won’t, however, if you are unwilling to make the effort.
Remember; No Deposit No Return            (from the Rock Chip Reporter, March 2012)

Fall Clearance - Lapidary Rock Sale
5 gallon buckets of mixed agate, jasper and petrified wood - $20
6 buckets for $100
Large rough (football sized and larger) pieces – $.50 per pound
Over 100 pounds - $.35 per pound
T-eggs - 5 gallons for $30
Chalcedony Roses - $1 per pound
Quartz crystals - $1 each or bag of small crystals
Obsidian – 5 gallons for $25
5 gallon buckets of tumble rough - $30
Tumble polished rock - $8 per 5 pound bag
Contact Paul or Beth Heesacker

Here’s a sale you might like to check out.  Give Beth a call.  I hear she has some good stuff.  There will be a big sale in September in Oregon City; I will let you all know the particulars.

Bench Tips by Brad Smith



When setting stones in a prong mount, 
the tool is less likely to slip off the prong if 
you grind a groove into its face or rough up the 
face a bit with sandpaper.  Some folks prefer a 
prong pusher for doing this, and others like a 
set of pliers.

Easiest way to cut a slot on the pusher is with a 
file, and the easiest ways to create a slot on one 
jaw of your pliers is with a cutoff wheel and then 
do a rough polish with a knife-edge silicone wheel.




For a nice looking rivet head, use brass escutcheon 
pins. You'll have perfectly rounded heads that are 
all the same size and shape. The pins are a little 
hard to find, so try the best hardware stores first. 
Be sure to get solid brass pins, not brass plated 
steel. If unsure, test them with a magnet.

The pins are readily available online. Lee Valley 
Tools has them in 14 - 18 gauge and lengths from 1/4 
inch to 1 inch. 
Go to and do an item search 
on "brass escutcheon pin"

For best results, select a drill that gives you a 
hole with a close fit to the rivet. Trim the rivet 
to a leave a little less than one diameter sticking 
out the back side. 
Place the head on a scrap of hard plastic on the 
anvil so as to not flatten the head. I prefer a ball 
peen hammer (with a small 3/8 inch ball) for setting 
the rivet.
Volunteers Needed for the Children’s Festival
We have been participating a lot of years and will continue as long as we have some 
of our club members help out.  Its only one day and we get a lot of traffic to our booth.  
Lets make this festival the best ever.  I know my granddaughter loves to come with
me and see all there is to see.  Betsy and her had a good time last year.
The Summer Family Day will be on Saturday, July 20, 2013 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
IT’S POTLUCK TIME AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This meeting is a potluck dinner.  Please bring your best dishes and a rock.
We always like to find out what you have been doing this year.    
Dean will be presenting pictures of his trip to Africa…………Really Jealous………………
Here is another estate sale you folks might like to check out:
His name is Lloyd Hilliker and he is at:
503-614-9799 or
He is selling his father's and mother's rocks & equipment who lives in Sweet Home.
Give him a call or e-mail to set up an appointment.

June counts three gems as birthstones, pearl, Alexandrite, and moonstone.


Historically, pearls have been used as an adornment for centuries.  They were one of the favorite gem materials of the Roman Empire; later in Tudor England, the 1500s were known as the pearl age.
Pearls are unique as they are the only gems from living sea creatures and require no faceting or
polishing to reveal their natural beauty. In the early 1900s, the first successful commercial culturing
of round saltwater pearls began. Since the 1920s, cultured pearls have almost completely replaced
natural pearls in the market.


A relatively modern gem, Alexandrite, was first discovered in Russia in 1831 during 
the reign of its namesake, Czar Alexander II, and is an extremely rare chrysoberyl
with chameleon-like qualities.  Its color is a lovely green in both daylight and 
fluorescent light; it changes color to a
purplish red in incandescent light.  Due to its rarity, some 
jewelers stock synthetic versions of this enchanting gemstone.  (Synthetic gemstones are Man-made alternatives to the natural material, possessing the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as the natural gemstone.)

The third birthstone for June is the Moonstone.  It was given its name by the 
Roman natural historian Pliny, who wrote that moonstone's appearance altered 
with the phases of the moon — a belief that held until well after the sixteenth century.  
A phenomenal gemstone, moonstones show a floating play of light (called adularescence) and sometimes show either a multirayed star or a cat's eye. 
Considered a sacred stone in India, moonstones often are displayed on a background of yellow (a sacred color) and are believed to encapsulate within the stone a spirit whose purpose is to bring good fortune.  Part of the family of minerals 
called feldspar; moonstone occurs in many igneous and metamorphic rocks 
and comes in a variety of colors such as green, blue, peach, and champagne. 
The most prized moonstones are from Sri Lanka; India, Australia, the United States, Mayanmar, and Madagascar are also sources.       
 (American Gem Society 2013)

What Projects are Underway in Your Forest??????

Ever wonder how to find out what projects are being planned 
for your favorite National Forest, 
What types of environmental reviews are being planned for them and what is the status of each proposal’s planning process?   
There is a simple way to check on these points within each 
National Forest, as each Forest publishes a project planning summary called the SOPA (Status of Proposed Actions) each quarter.  The SOPA is published online, but you can also request 
a paper copy in many cases by calling the National Forest Supervisor’s office.
Should you wish to dig into the USFSs NEPA procedures, 
you might start by accessing and book marking a 
USDA-sponsored page that lists many of the key NEPA-related Federal Acts and agency regulations/policies/procedures by 
typing the following website address into you internet browser:

 Executive Meeting May 22,2013

The meeting was called to order at 6 pm at the Rock Shop in the Adult Activity Center.
Peg Burdge, Wayne & Barbra Rodgers, Bob Smith, Dean Burkhart, Tom Hooker, 
 Pat Hagner, Bill Cantrell, Mark DeNoyer & Me were present.
Peg read the applications for the scholarship for our consideration.
There were three applicants. 
Jack Miller had quite a lengthy letter.  He had a grade point average of 3.78 and was going 
to be a lawyer and math professor.

Alexander Norte-Clark had a one page letter but was quite to the point.  His GPA is 4.0  
and is majoring in Math & Metal Shop.

Sarah Mihulka just heard about the program and had quite a nice presentation considering 
she only had three days to get it finished.  Her GPA is 3.97 and aspires to be a Pediatrician.  She had 28 college credits as a junior in High School.

It was a unanimous decision to give it to Sarah. She will be coming to the next meeting to 
meet all of us.

We also discussed the Springfield School dropped the ball on our scholarship for the 
second year in a row.  We will have to get with the Superintendent and discuss the matter
with him.
Also a special thanks to Beth Heesacker of the Clackamette Gem Club for the write up in 
her newsletter on our show.  She is really getting the word out too.  I also will help all the 
other clubs that share their news with me on their shows.  Look for there flyers in the
rock shop and meetings when they get closer.

Coming Shows

June 1-2
N. Idaho Mineral Club
Coeur d’Alene, Id

June 1-2
Everett Rock & Gem Club
Everett Wa

June 15-16
Oregon Coast Agate Club
Newport Or

June 21-23
Prineville Pow-Wow
Prineville Or

June 27-29
Madras Pow-Wow
Madras Or

July 4-7
Sisters Rodeo and Rock Show
Sisters Or


Crater Rock Museum “Rocks” at Hanley Farm!

 Hanley Farm, located on Hanley Road in Central Point, is hosting a special day just for Crater Rock Museum/Roxy Ann Gem & Mineral Society members, rock hounds and lapidary artists!

If you have gems, minerals, slabs, fossils, jewelry, pottery, paintings, etc., you’d like to display and sell; we invite you to do so at Hanley Farm, July 28, 11am-3pm. And– whatever your passion, we invite you to practice your craft at the perfect setting - beautiful Hanley Farm.

There’s so much for you and Hanley Farm visitors to enjoy - heritage livestock, featuring Icelandic sheep and Toggenburg goats; chickens; Bob the Peacock!, farmhouse; barns; water tower; historic outbuildings; purchase fresh produce from the Hanley farm stand; take a Hanley farmhouse tour; AND more!
PLUS, if you’d like to sell your work, bring your creations - be it rocks you’ve collected, jewelry, pottery, paintings, drawings, etc. – to the farm, set up, and sell!

Maybe demonstrate how you “do what you do”? If you do sell something, we ask that you donate 10% of your total sales to the farm. If you choose not to bring finished work, that’s okay too! Just come out, bring a picnic, and relax!

Hanley Farm offers you and your fellow artists a peaceful environment in which to create, and a wonderful place to spend a Sunday. We hope you’ll plan to participate in this great event! Please let me know if you plan to attend.

Thank you ever so!

Historic Hanley Farm
July 28, 11 am-3 pm
1053 Hanley Road
Central Point
Pam Sasseen, 541-608-8091

 Note: Knappers, please do not practice your craft at the farm. HOWEVER, 
do bring your work to display, and if you’d like, to sell!

It is time for me to make some choices about how the Faceting book(s) are going to be presented - in one gigantic tome, or in multiple volumes specific to certain areas - with color photos (costs more) - or with only B&W line drawings, etc.
I'm writing the books FOR YOU. So, it seems right to ask you about your preferences.
Here is a link to an 8-question multiple-choice survey that will help me create the books you want to read in the presentations you want to read them:

PLEASE take just a minute to complete the survey - so I can do the best possible job of presenting the information I've been collecting on Faceting for the past decade. Your help is very much needed - and appreciated.
I've spent part of the past YEAR completing the R&D work and testing on some new Voodoo Polishes. And, I'm excited to finally offer these exciting new products:
Voodoo Vanilla: An oxide polish for Quartzes and other cerium-polishing gemstones in a Voodoo base. This is
the *most* aggressive oxide I've found for Quartz. It works on Corian, Darkside, or other composite lap materials.
Voodoo Wet Chrome: You guessed it - Chrome Oxide bound in a Voodoo base for easy economical application to any kind of lap or polishing tool. You can use it at high speed or 
slow speed to polish almost anything - including troublesome materials.
Voodoo Black Magic: Now in both one micron and half-micron sizes. This is for the serious artist, and for work on troublesome materials. Special friable diamond makes this
Voodoo cut the fastest and polish the finest. Available in limited quantities.
I've posted a whole new page about polish and pre-polish selection. Check it out!.
I've also just posted two new training videos - one on scoring polishing laps and one on charging and polishing with the new Voodoo Oxide polishes
You can check out those FREE videos here along with some of my previous polishing videos.
Please check them out, share them, and leave comments and questions.

I want to announce that the Faceting Academy is now proudly carrying the line of Gearloose laps so you can enjoy one-stop-shopping for polishing supplies.
I have long sang the virtues of the BATT and BA5T laps for polishing harder materials, and 
I'm presently testing the new Matrix lap - and will have a more detailed review of it very soon.
My testing of the Creamway lap is complete, and I will say it's the most trouble-free and dummy-proof of laps for polishing Quartz that I've seen. I recommend one in the kit for problematic Quartzes - right alongside a nice Corian lap or Darkside with the new Vanilla
Voodoo for quickly polishing most Quartz gems.
I recently learned that a very-well-known and popular faceting polish product (not mine) is 
being counterfeited and offered through a lapidary supplies web site. The site appears 
to be using the trademarked product name, product logos - and perhaps even a 
copyrighted image of the original product - to sell the counterfeit product.
We know it is counterfeit for a couple of reasons, including that the retail sale price is 
below the dealer wholesale price - and because the manufacturer of the product hasn't 
sold any to the company marketing it.
There is no telling if the knock-off product will contain contaminants or even toxins.
Always make sure you are buying your faceting supplies from reputable dealers, not just 
the cheapest source you can find. And, if the price seems like a "really great deal" double-check to make sure you are buying what you are paying for. If a "dealer" is 
willing to rip-off the originator or
manufacturer of a product, what makes you think he's got any problem ripping you off, too?
Take care of the people who innovate and manufacture high-quality time-saving products 
in this business. And, don't do ANY business with a company that's willing to counterfeit products and rip-off the true contributors.
Chuck Newnham, the proprietor of the Juniper Ridge Opal mine, has put his fee digs "on sale" for 
the month of May. If you want to get in on this season's diggings, you can get $50 off when you mention 
that you heard about it here.
I just found out that Chuck is going to give the deal that's usually reserved for actual Faceting Academy students - to anyone who gets this newsletter. In the past, this deal was open ONLY
to Faceting Academy Students - and then ONLY at Resident Academy time. This year, you can get that deal all summer long.
That deal is digging a gallon of Fire Opal from the Juniper Ridge tailings - for only $50 !!!!
The "tailings" at Juniper Ridge consistently contain facet-grade Fire Opal pieces of 50 and 100+ carats. I often find some really great gems in those tailings. And, you can collect a bucketful of workable gem material within just a few hours of picking.
I can't emphasize enough what an incredible opportunity this is to get a load of great material for an *insane* price.
This spring is starting off dry and hot. And, that usually spells a bad fire season in the forest where Juniper Ridge is located. I recommend making your reservations ASAP if you want to get some great Fire Opal.
To make reservations contact Chuck Newnham by phone at 541-892-7486 or by e-mail at
Until next time, have an easy polish!
John Bailey, Founder Faceting Academy


Look in the June 2013 issue of the Rock & Gem Magazine for our club article.  It has history and a lot of the rock shop activities.  It took a while to get it in but I think it turned out nice!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

 Bill Mayer I gonna dig till I find the big one.
 Our Club trip to Murray Mountain
April 27.2013

 Craig Ivei:  I know somethings

 Mark DeNoyer & Craig Ivie
What? This is my spot.....

 Tom Hooker, President
I know I will find the big one.

 Trisch Adams & Darlyn Ivie
Hey over here!!  Look at this one.

Wayne Werder
Gee this buckets heavy...

                   Springfield Thunderegg Rock Club
                 Next Meeting is for Business, May 14, 2013

Pres Sez: 
"I have made a request to the Holleywood Ranch for a club dig to take place on the 8th of June at about 10:00 AM.  According to the Ranch, they have 65 plus varieties of petrified wood on the ranch and many more varieties that have yet to be identified.  As of my contact the fee charged is $1.50 per pound for the petrified wood.  I believe this would be a field trip that just about all the members in our club would like to take part in the dig.  A sign-up slip will be passed around at our May meeting to confirm the interest in this trip.  It is about 30 miles or so to the Holleywood Ranch and a paved road all the way.  Let's all go and have a great time.  Remember to bring your cameras and get some great pictures of a good time.

Club Picnic
Peg would like you to remember the club will be having their annual picnic on August 3, Saturday from 11a.m. until 3 p.m. at Island Park in the south area nearest the river. It will be a covered dish and the members are to bring their own silverware and beverage (non-alcoholic beverage) too. The club will supply the paper plates. 

We will discuss this at the next meeting. We can get a small donation from everyone; we can get hamburgers or hotdogs
 We will be giving away (at the raffle) rough rocks.
 Any questions: call Peg Burdge at 736-1699

Emerald May birthstone: 
As the birthstone for May, the emerald, a symbol of rebirth, is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth. Emerald, derived from the word smaragdus, meaning green in Greek, was mined in Egypt as early as 330 B.C. Today, most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia.

“Emerald Bonanza Found by Amateur Diggers

Jamie Hill Thought he found a new way to make money by opening up his aging emerald mine to amateurs at $25 a head, and watched as a pair of couples quickly came away with tens of thousands of dollars worth of gems.  The next day Terry Lofgren and her finance found a pocket of emerald crystals. On a group trip with the Mountain Area Gem Club, a couple found a 50.5 carat emerald.  Mr. Hill still has no regrets opening the mine to the public, which is good for us.  You can go and mine Emeralds in North Carolina.

  The Emerald Hollow Mine is the only emerald mine in the United States open to the public for prospecting. Nestled snugly in the foothills of the beautiful Brushy Mountains, this North Carolina Emerald mine is located in the small town of Hiddenite, North Carolina. This locality is recognized as one of the most unique and interesting geological locations on the North American continent.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Metasequoia is a remarkable species!  The tree’s fossils are found in much of the West including Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Alaska & Montana.
Many examples are found in Yellowstone’s Petrified Forest in      


Wyoming as eighteen separate forests thrived there and were 

burned out.  They are also found in Chile, southern Australia
and Antarctica.

Metasequoia existed in most of North America from the Cretaceous 70 million years ago and became extinct five million years ago.  They were discovered still living in China in 1946 and now are marketed in the US through nurseries as the “Dawn Redwood”.  It was adopted as “Oregon’s State Fossil” in 2005.

In Oregon, you can dig for Metasequoia fossils behind the Fossil High School in Fossil Oregon.  Check it out.  You can take the long or short road, but anyway you get there it is a sight of wonder. 


Tom was not feeling well.  He was short of breath and tired all the time.  His wife told him to call Doctor Stone.  Ben Stone was his doctor, friend and fellow club member.  Doctor Stone made time for Tom the following day.  At the doctor’s office, Tom gave Ben a full rundown on all the problems he was having.  The Doctor listened and took notes, He told Tom that the nurse would take a blood sample and after the results came back, would give him a call.

The call came in a few days later.  Dr. Stone told Tom not to worry and he would stop by Saturday and give him the results. 
Dr. Stone arrived around 10 am and asked if they would all go out to Tom’s shop in the garage.  Dr. Stone told them that his hobby was the problem.  How could that be? Asked Tom and his wife.  You have a mild case of heavy metal poisoning.  With time and some medication you will be back to you old self.

The question is, “where did it come from”. Make sure the area is well ventilated.  Make sure of the specimen your working on isn’t to poisonous.  Know what kind of soldier you are using.

The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight is a good book, not only for instruction on how to silversmith but also safety precautions.  This story is just to get everyone aware of the safety issues with our hobby.  Be careful out there.
(NWMS Vol. 53 NO.5)