They’re not just rocks.
They’re windows into local geo-history, some say, revealing clues about the surrounding landscape.
And the often lumpy shapes, earthen tones and dusty edifaces, members of a local club say, are artwork in waiting. A little handiwork and mineral polish helps local artists, said hobbyist Marvin Stump, tell their stories, and those of the rocks.
“When you polish them, then they really turn into something special,” said Stump, a mineral show co-chairman and Rock & Arrowhead Club of Klamath Falls member.
On Saturday during the annual Rock, Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show, plenty of artists were on hand. The club has 25 vendors and demonstrators through this weekend, cutting, polishing and selling their work. There are plenty of visitors, too. As many as 3,000 were expected to file through the show during its two days.
Garwin Carlson of Klamath Falls heated and plied pieces of silver, shaping them around polished opals to make jewelry.
In another part of the exhibition hall, Kurt Phillips and Jerry Barrett of Klamath Falls were joined by Medford-based jeweler Robert Townsend as they knapped arrowheads and spear points from volcanic glass.
Club treasurer Laura Limb manned a raffle station. Money raised from the event will fund club operations and next year’s show.
But when she’s hounding rocks, Limb said she’s drawn to colors, selecting rocks and minerals that polish into intense reds and yellows.
Much of her work features jasper and petrified wood. She finds the pieces throughout Oregon, collecting those she thinks will offer interesting shapes or grain patterns.
Some will undergo dramatic changes before they’re ready to show, Limb said.
“It’s yours, from start to finish, and there’s satisfaction in that,” she said.