January 25, 2008

The tumbler

Posted in Tumbler tagged , at 5:28 pm by jewelrybyleyla

In order to make this blog about the whole craft of making jewelry, I’ve decided to do a weekly feature about the tumbler, and its process and progress.

Unfortunately, since I came up with this idea today, and I’m already 2-3 weeks into the process, I don’t have pictures of the first phases. But, I’ll walk through it anyway. It starts out with some minerals and rocks, a good starting place is someplace like The Rock Shed, and getting some rocks. I picked up one of their mixes, along with some extra things like moss and tree agates. This went into the tumbler along with coarse Silicon Carbide grit and water. The tumbler simulates a stream bed on a much faster scale… so decades of work is being accomplished in mere weeks.

So I checked the tumbler today, after most things had been in there for 2 weeks. A few items had been in for a week longer. And quite a few rocks had already been tumbled along the shores of the Great Lakes, and were sent to me by a friend. Here is what they looked like before I started poking through them a bit more….

Whole batch

I spent the next hour and a half at least, sorting through them. In the end, I came out with three batches: Rocks that I was happy with and will be moved on to the next stage…. Rocks that will spend at least another week in the tumbler…. And a group of citrine, carnelian and rose quartz that I will end up tumbling separate from the rest… so here are the pictures in that order….

Sorted Not done yet Various Quartz

Stay tuned…. next Friday or Saturday I’ll see how many more are done! Check out my Etsy to see what I’ve done with previous batches of rocks.



  1. Gina said,

    This will be an interesting project, and I can’t wait to see it after all of the phases are complete! Please keep updating us. I love rocks and stones and gems in general…and of course I love diamonds. I just don’t have the effort to put into making a project like this happen, lol. I’m more of an instant gratification type person. That’s why I like easy things…you should check out the new My Dove contest where you can win a 5.58cts. “Baby’s Breath’ diamond necklace just for showing how you express your love. How easy (and a great prize). Enter at http://www.mydovechocolate.com I wish everything was that easy, lol. Anyway…I had to pass this along to a fellow jewelry lover, which is why I’m working to support this. Keep us updated on the project!

  2. I’ve done a few batches of rocks before… but since I’m relatively near the beginning I figured it would be worthwhile 🙂

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