Old Pueblo Lapidary Club - 3118 North Dale, Tucson, Arizona
Tuesday, February 5th - Tucson's venerable Old Pueblo Lapidary Club has begun hosting an annual get together and hobnob for faceters held in conjunction with the Tucson Show. This year was the second faceters hobnob held at Old Pueblo Lapidary Club. This event provides a wonderful opportunity for faceters to get together and meet one another, show off stones and rough, share information on where they have found various gem materials and good buys on rough during the Show, and of course just generally hobnob and commune about faceting.
If you are a faceter or simply interested in faceting, consider yourself invited and most welcome to attend future OPLC faceters hobnobs during the Tucson Show.
The OPLC gathering began at 6:30PM at the OPLC clubhouse and the initial hour or so was occupied by the attendees meeting one another and talking faceting. The faceters hobnob was also attended this year by several dealers who showed and sold faceting rough, laps and other equipment. Among them were Bob and Jeanne Ridolfi of The Rock Peddler, Rob Kulakofsky of facetingmachines.com and Robert Lowe of Robert Lowe Associates - Brasil. Ernie Hawes, a New Mexico Faceters Guild member, also brought with and showed a large assortment of faceting rough which came from an estate.
At this year's hobnob Tucson faceter Art Kavan gave a show and tell presentation on how to improve faceting skills. Art shared tips and how-to while demonstrating with his Facetron. Art is an accomplished competitive faceter who placed third on the US team in the 2000 Australian International Challenge Cup Competition. This biannual competition requires cutting 3 different designs in three different materials to specification and is regarded as the most challenging and elite world class skills competition for faceters. Art scored 289.12 points out of a possible 300.00 in the last International Challenge Cup Competition, which qualifies him an expert who walks his talk.
Also new at this year's OPLC gathering was a "Most Beautiful Gemstone" competition, which was held as a fun event to encourage participants to bring and show off some of their work. Twenty stones were entered. After Art's presentation the attendees scrutinized the stones and cast ballots for their choice for the most beautiful gemstone and the runner up.
The honor of winning the OPLC hobnob's first "Most Beautiful Gemstone" competition went to Tucson faceter Dieter Irmischer, shown above right as he learned his stone had won. Dieter's entry, pictured above left, was a 27.2 carat, 15mm octagon design cut from golden CZ. Only two votes separated Dieter's score from the runner-up. I think the expression on Dieter's face pretty much says it all... Dieter took home a solid steel 1200 Crystallite diamond lap as his prize for winning the most beautiful gemstone competition, which was generously donated as a prize by Rob Kulakofsky on behalf of facetingmachines.com.
Art Kavan took the runner up honors for the most beautiful gemstone with a 16 x 12mm checkerboard cushion design he cut from Russian color change CZ, shown above left. Art is depicted above right as he walks off with his prize, a 1200 Nu-Bond composite diamond lap which was donated by myself on behalf of Bob's Rock Shop.
There is a story and some history behind Dieter's and Art's wins. Dieter mentored Art when Art began faceting and became interested in competitive faceting, so Art is Dieter's protege. Dieter had previously competed in the 1998 Texas Faceters Guild Fall Competition with his 2002 OPLC Most Beautiful Gemstone entry and winner, and just barely edged out Art with a score of 99.9 in that TFG competition with it. Art has subsequently outscored and beaten Dieter in various competitions, including the Australian International Faceters Challenge. Dieter and Art's rivalry is a friendly one of course, but they are after all, competition faceters. Tonight Dieter once again showed Art who is the master and who is the student. ;) Congratulations to both Dieter and Art! And hereby consider yourselves served with fair warning that I am going to be gunning for both of you in the OPLC 2003 Most Beautiful Gemstone Competition...
Two door prizes were also given away to attendees by a random drawing, a hardcover book on stone setting which was provided courtesy Shawn Starr of Tucson's Starr Gems, and a copy of Jeff Graham's newest gemstone design book, Checker Boards, provided courtesy Jeff Graham of faceters.com. The faceters continued to socialize and patronize the dealers after the voting for most beautiful gemstone and the door prize drawings, with the crowd slowly dwindling and the last guests retiring from the hobnob at about 10:30PM.
Also new this year at the OPLC faceters hobnob was the OPLC Faceters Companion V2.002 CD, which was especially created for this affair and given away as mementos and tokens to the 2002 hobnob attendees. This CD features about 250 gemstone designs and selected faceting related and how-to articles, contributed and authored by Charles Covill, Jeff Ford, Jeff Graham, Paul Head, Walt Heitland, Tom Herbst, Mike and Darcy Howard, Art Kavan, Bob Keller, Glenn Klein, David de Lisle, Craig McGregor, Sumner Olsen, Jim Perkins, Fred Van Sant, Robert Strickland, Carl Unruh, Clive Washington and Mike Yeatts.
About 70 master copies of the Faceters Companion CD were distributed to attendees during the OPLC faceters hobnob and master copies are also being provided to the faceting guilds and clubs. This CD is a freeware project done by faceters for their fellow faceters which is intended for copying and distribution throughout the faceting community at large.
I served as the compiler and editor of the 2002 Faceters Companion CD, which is compatible with 32-bit Windows ('95 and later). To facilitate distribution of the 2002 Faceters Companion as freeware, a downloadable image of the CD has been made available online as a self-extracting, Zip compressed archive.
You can read the installation docs and download the OPLC Faceters Companion V2.002 CD at www.rockhounds.com/oplc. The CD contents are listed below. Enjoy yours!