This is my last post before heading off for our two-week bike touring vacation. While we're away, please make yourself at home with my blog. Grab a cup of tea, sit back, and click through the pages. Feel free to make comments. I will respond when we're home. Until then, I hope you enjoy what you find here.
If you can't tell by now, rocks are an obsession of mine. I can't simply sit on the side of the river and enjoy the view without constantly scanning the beach for rocks in search for the perfect circle, oval or heart. I fill my pockets with small rocks to carry home to incorporate into my art. Most recently, I have begun to engrave single words into rocks, marking herbs, leaving secret messages throughout the garden for Cymone's fairies, or to place welcoming words on our guests' pillows.
I have enjoyed the process so much that I would like to share the tutorial with you.
I recommend drilling softer sedimentary rocks (sandstone, limestone, etc). When scouring the beach for rocks, these tend to be well rounded. Those that are not rounded are probably harder igneous or metamorphic rock and are likely to break apart while drilling or break your drill bit.
Plastic container to hold water so you can drill your stone under water (I use an old dog bowl). Drilling underwater cools off the bit and which will speed up your drilling and keep your stone from over heating.
Medium-sized sedimentary rocks
1. Put on your goggles.
2. Using your permanent marker, carefully write the word you've chosen to engrave on your rock. Of course, you can do this in pencil first, then trace over it with permanent marker. Your rock will be submerged in water, so you don't want the marker to rub off.
3. Firmly hold a rock inside your container, just beneath the water. This takes some practice. You may want to place your rock inside a frame rather than hold it in your hands, which can certainly be dangerous.
4. Using a ball shape rotary burr, gently but firmly trace your written letters to great a slight groove in your rock. Continue to trace over the letters until your groove is deep enough to prevent your drill bits from slipping out of the grooves as you work. The water will become cloudy, but that's fine. Periodically rinse out your letters.
5. Switch your bit to an inverted cone or some kind of blunt-nose cylinder. Continue to trace your letters, pressing firmly into the rock, until your grooves are approximately 1mm deep.
6. Rise your rock, and embellish as desired. I like to use small gemstone beads to add a touch of color.
That's it! The pictures on this post were my first attempt at engraving words into rocks, so the letters aren't perfect, but you hopefully it gets the point across.
Have a wonderful couple of weeks! See you when we return!