2015 Essendon Gem And Lapidary Club Exhibition
The Essendon Gem and Lapidary Club Annual Exhibition was held on the 18th and 19th April 2015. This year, it was remarkable to see the great improvements to the Club made by President Bill Gordon. I attended the Exhibition on the Sunday afternoon, which is not normally a time for busy crowds, but the attendance rate was quite impressive this year.
An influx of new members of all ages have joined the Club recently and workshops are now more prolific. The Club is a vibrant place these days, buzzing with activity and people are enjoying sharing their knowledge and working together to increase the local influence of the Club. All of this heralds a fantastic year ahead - well done to all members on making the Essendon Club the most friendly and passionate lapidary club in the northern suburbs of Melbourne!
One of our new stallholders this year was Mel from Mel's Treasures. This was a truly inspired stall with a huge array of necklaces, pendants and gemstone jewellery to choose from. We particularly liked the old fashioned sign and theme!
Rachel McCarthy's Handmade Jewellery And Design was also a new stall. She displayed an arty collection of sterling silver jewellery with a focus on both organic and geometric shapes, perfect for people wanting the latest contemporary art in silver.
This year offered a mix of old and new showcases. There was the "But Dad, they are not just rocks" showcase, which had a cool railway addition, the Rock Rats glass cabochon showcase with little gemstone trees and ants (the insects are so adorable).
A Club favourite of stunning glass plates and bowls was in Showcase 2, and an intricate beading projects showcase offered 2D and 3D beading projects, including a lovely beaded butterfly and beaded cabochons, flowers and bracelets.
The Fossil Record showed ammonites, dinosaur bones and other fossils, while the Fluorite and Amethyst showcases had some interesting specimens. There was also a Raffle showcase with polished Club artwork for prizes. The pink pen and cabochon stone for First Prize were particularly noteworthy.
The Scales of Justice showcase (an oldie but goodie) was there as well as cabochons cut and polished on six inch wheels.
Mariana Stokes was back again this year with even more large, ornate pendants, many with unusual gemstones or mixed clusters in them. Mariana's collection of picture agates and jasper were wonderful to behold and her enjoyable collection has earned her the title "Queen of the Pendants"!
Trevor was back from the other side of town, with tumbled stones galore and mineral specimens at good prices and Nola offered her large collection of unusual mineral specimens and jewellery. Vic Sehire was also back, with his array of unusual lapis gemstones, many carved in intricate shapes. He also had some minerals for sale and exciting arm bands with different stones featured.
Gordon James brought a large range of faceted stones and settings in silver and gold. He was a bit shy, but I managed to get a rare photograph of him. For an appointment outside of the Exhibition, phone 03 5367 2865 to peruse his fine jewellery.
Laura Scilio was in charge of the budget rock and gemstone stall, with tumbled stones and glass cabochons at rock bottom prices! There were also two traders outside, one with bargain rough and the other with a tented array of rough and polished. Unfotunately, I didn't get their names and one packed up pretty quickly, so next year guys, give me a chance to catch you!
Glass Exhibits & Stalls
Glass making at the Essendon Gem Club has taken off, with a huge array on display and for sale at the Exhibition. Members were excitedly talking about the different cabochons they had made and the interesting coatings and colours of the glass.
Wendy and Fio Bergamin ran a handmade glass lampwork and lapidary stall with beautiful beads, rocks and jewellery for sale. Wendy's showcase, a collection of lampworked beads is shown below.
Rose ran a lovely handmade glasswork stall featuring her own creations and those of the Rock Rats. Rose' work included contemporary glass pendants and chainmail (she has been learning how to make chain mail bracelets). She was most informative about the process of glasswork and has talked me into signing up for a class! Rock Rats (a group of lapidary kids within the Club) made earrings and pendants for sale, which were very colourful with cute designs.
Club member John discovered Turbo Pan, which is a type of gold pan that has specially developed ridges to help you pan for gold and gemstones quicker than using a traditional one. John's Turbo Pan display was set up as a children's fossicking activity, which they all enjoyed very much!
If you alternate wash and spin cycles, the spiral riffles to break up the dirt and gravity feeds the heaviest metals into the central trap. Flat riffles viewed in sunlight help you see what you've picked up from the bottom of that river and Turbo Pan is a type of sluice in a pan.
The Pans are a reasonable price and come with quick instructions. Instead of saving for an expensive gold detector, why not try one of these? They're great for children too. Contact John for more information on 0428 250 364.
Advanced Goldpan For Fossicking
A giant big thank you and hugs to Elma and Jenny, who served up some delicious scones, homemade pasties and cups of tea to the crowd and yours truly! If you haven't tasted a Devonshire Tea or homemade pasty at the Exhibition, you haven't truly lived.
Do you think the club should make dessert for the Hard Rock Cafe?
All said, it was a great turnout on both days of the Show and it was a highly successful show with lots of traders and foot traffic. With the preparations the national Gemboree over just days before the Exhibition began, Bill wished me to thank everyone for their help in putting this amazing Exhibition together.
The Essendon Gem And Lapidary Club is located at:
Cross Keys Reserve
Bridge Street, Essendon
All new members are welcome!
Don't miss the next Essendon Gem & Lapidary Club Exhibtion in 2016!
© 2015 Suzanne Day