Creating Art With Your Rock Collection

Now that you have collected a sizeable pile of wonderful rocks, your friends or family are probably asking you ” what are you going to do with all those rocks??? ” Well, there are probably as many things to create with your rocks as you have rocks! All it takes is a little creativity, as simple or as complicated as you wish or have the skills to create. Of course, the obvious comes to mind first, such as using your prettiest large rocks for garden borders. They are also great as accent rocks in a cactus garden or with succulents growing over and around them. If you are into waterfalls or garden ponds, a very special one can be created with fluorescent rocks such as calcite, aragonite, caliche, fluorite, willemite or wollastonite. Just use ultraviolet lamps in your nighttime lighting for spectacular displays of brilliant greens, reds, yellows, oranges and blues! Your neighbors will be envious of your rock art and may even want you to create such a waterfall for their own yard.

If you like to collect geodes and are intrigued by the sizes and shapes of them, more than what it is inside, then a birdbath built out of geodes would be ” just up your alley”. Some parts of the Midwest have so many calcite geodes which are all the same inside, but come in a wide variety of sizes, so are just perfect for a birdbath or garden planter. June Culp Zeitner was a very well-known rockhound and writer of many books, including her last work, “Geodes Natures Treasures”, which she co-authored with Brad L. Cross in 2006. On page 136 of this book is a picture of a birdbath in Indiana made from uncut geodes, bordered by a wall of extremely large and lumpy geodes. Some big ones have even been used for doorstops!

Of course, one of the favored uses of the beautiful rocks we collect is to made jewelry to adorn ourselves, both men and women alike. There are books on tumbling, making cabochons, wire wrapping stones whether crystals or tumbled stones, or making jewelry by gluing stones and crystals into hobby mounts.

Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, this glued-in style of costume jewelry was very popular with the hobbyists, making such things as key chains, bolo ties, owl pins, bracelets and necklaces, etc. You can still buy these base-metal mounts in gold-tone or silver-tone from several of the lapidary supply companies such as Ebersole or Kingsley North. If you have the time, talent and proper equipment, you can facet or make cabs of your quality rough and mount them in real silver or gold mountings, also available from a number of companies and very modern in design. Fire Mountain Bead Co. is a good source for anyone looking for hobby mounts or glue for their rock creations.

Stepping stones made with your colorful rock slabs or geode halves can be created easily by embedding them in concrete, with or without a mold. You can create freeform shapes of any size to fit your own needs, making your pathways unique and special. Just be sure you clean all the concrete from the cut exposed rocks before it hardens. If you are like me, and love to collect rocks but are not too good with your hands, you can do simple things with your small stones such as create colorful birdhouses by gluing your stones, shells or beach glass to ready-made wooden birdhouses. The birds might even decide they are worthy of nesting if you hang them in strategic places. Then you will have beautiful birds to go with your beautiful birdhouses!

Well, I am sure you get the idea—there are so many ways to create beauty with rocks including using translucent agate slabs in stained glass work, so start looking at that rock pile in a whole new way. Who knows what uses you might come up with that have not been tried before!