School of Hard Rocks

Play Hard. Learn more.™

Welcome to the gallery of the School of Hard Rocks.

It is our pleasure to share some of the exquisite rocks that we have been blessed with finding.  Anyone who says that beauty is only skin deep has clearly never polished a rock.  The real beauty is deep inside both rocks and people.  With enough patient and careful work that beauty can be revealed and shared with the world.

A Batch of Lakers

I thought I should share a recent batch that processed through our smalles tumbler.  This is from both barrels on a Thumler A-R2 - about 6 pounds of rock.  One barrel was all Lake Superior agates.  The other barrel was an assortment of rocks that I was recycling from other runs.  That A-R2 is really the little tumbler that could.

SOHR Batch of 100323
Laker Agates 100323
Thumler A-R2 Both Drums

Why I Like Polishing Lakers


Lake Superior Agates

Lake Superior Agates Image 01

These are Lake Superior Agates found on Minnesota beaches.  The agate on the left is one of my all-time favorites.  It has three distinct regions: an iron-rich, red shell, characteristic of almost all Lakers; a large central region of clear crystal that looks almost like the meat in a citrus fruit; and a third region (on the left of the photo) of thin, parallel layers of the clear crystaline material.  The agate on the right reminds me of a piece of Christmas candy.

Here are some more Lake Superior Agates.  You can see that while they are similar, each is quite distinct.  This broad range of features is why I really like to tumble polish agates.  You will see more in the School of Hard Rocks.

Lake Superior Agates Image 02

A Dugway Geode

Dugway Geode 501 a
Dugway Geode 501 b
Geodes can be even more mysterious than agates.  Most times you see geodes that have been sliced and polished to reveal amazing cross sections around an interior of crystal points.  Not all geodes are so blessed but all of them that I have encountered tumble to reveal a structures that are complex and always interesting.  This geode, from Dugway, Utah, has a cavity with very fine crystals on the inner face (left photo).  The back side (right photo) shows great character in the layered lobe and then the inclusion of the lighter, chrystaline material on the lower left.

Did you know that a geode with a solid center is called a thunder egg?


The Twins

Shiva Lingham and Geode
The Twins - so much alike - as different as night and day.  The stone on the left is a shiva lingham, or lingham stone, from India.  Shiva lingham are naturally formed in the Narmada River in India.  No two lingham stones are alike, but they are all almost exactly the same shape no matter what their size.  On the right, is a geode from Dugway, Utah.  It has the same shape as the lingham stone, but is rough on the outside and is hollow.  Their paths crossed in my shop and now they will travel together for a while.

Cactus Jack

Cactus Jack and Nodules
Cactus Jack has been around the School of Hard Rocks for some time.  His big smile is on an agate of undeterminable origin - he just is.  His body is petrified wood from Utah, and the lichens is real.  The nodules were found in a box of thunder eggs, also from Utah.  All hail Captain Jack.

Heart of Stone

Heart of Stone Photo
This is actually a piece of petrified wood from Arizona but it sure looks like a chicken heart or a turkey heart.