Snapshots from the Tucson 2005 Gem and Mineral Show
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Birds for Laura

My sister Laura has requested some pictures of tiger eye carvings from the 2005 Tucson Show. Laura, I haven't found much in the way of tiger eye carvings yet this year but of course I'll keep an eye out for more. In the meanwhile here is one by the Brazilian carver Peter Muller, who has a longstanding presence at the Tucson Show.

The owls are carved from tiger eye and they are each about 3 inches high. They are perched upon a base of Brazilian albite with smoky quartz and lepidolite. The owls wanted $1275 to change their roost.

While I check out Peter's carvings nearly every year, I couldn't recall including any other pictures of Peter's work in my Tucson Show reports since 1996, which showed three cockatoos carved from rose quartz.

Peter seems to have a connection with birds which is reflected in his work, a connection that I know is shared by my sister Laura. She expressed an interest in seeing some more of Peter's work, so Laura here's several more of Peter's birds that migrated north for this year's Tucson Show.

The Cockatoo piece depicted above left is about 14 inches high overall including the stand. The Cockatoo is about 8 inches high and is carved from rose quartz. It is perched upon a base of quartz with tourmaline. This one wants $3150 to go home. Now you can buy a live Cockatoo for a similar investment, but except for an occasional dusting you won't have to clean up after this one. Anyone who has ever owned a bird as a pet, especially a big parrot like a Cockatoo, will relate to and appreciate that...

Shown above right is a group of humming birds, one of several humming bird carvings shown by Peter this year. This piece is about 8 inches high overall and the birds are about 4 inches from beak tip to tail tip. The birds are caved from clear quartz with hematite inclusions, with beaks fashioned from carnelian. The base they are perching upon is schorl on albite. These hummers want $1126 to grace your own rock garden. The blue bird piece in the foreground is about 4 inches overall. This bird is carved from lapis lazuli with a beak made of carnelian. The bird is about 3 inches overall and is perched upon a base of quartz with tourmaline. It wants $467 to renest.

As a resident of the Sonoran Desert I particularly appreciated this roadrunner. The roadrunner is carved from an orbicular jasper commonly known as ocean jasper. The blue eye flashes are fashioned from lapis lazuli and the beak is agate. This piece is about 12 inches overall, with the roadrunner strutting across a base of quartz with tourmaline and albite. It wants $2440 to run your way.

Just for the record I should update a comment about stone carvings not having much attraction to me made in conjunction with presenting Peter's work on my 1996 Tucson Show report. Prior to 1996 my interest in rocks was primarily focused on minerals and mineral collecting. I hate to admit it, but somewhere along the line I had picked up a bit of an elitist "attitude" towards lapidary and the poor, misguided, rock grinding, "grunt" rockhounds, who had weird and peculiar ideas about improving rocks by cutting them up and grinding and polishing on them. I was a mineral collector, not a rock butcher! I guess I figured if God had wanted man to mess with his rocks we'd have been given a lot harder fingernails...

I still collect minerals of course, but for better or worse, I am now also among the ranks of the poor, misguided, rock grinding, "grunt" rockhounds. My 1996 Show report lead to publication of a "First Rockshop in Cyberspace" article about Bob's Rock Shop in Rock&Gem Magazine several months later, which in turn resulted in me being invited by the president of Tucson's venerable Old Pueblo Lapidary Club to do a presentation at an OPLC meeting about rockhounding the Internet. While at Old Pueblo Lapidary Club for that meeting and presentation I was given a tour of their marvelous shop facilities, which include a saw room, a cabbing room, a smithing room, a casting room and a faceting room. These rooms were filled with work stations and lapidary and smithing tools and equipment.

"All I have to do is join Old Pueblo Lapidary Club and I get to use all this stuff?"

"Yep. We even provide classes with hands-on instruction for beginners."

So I took Old Pueblo Lapidary Club up on that. After 10 years or so now of hanging around in some of the classes and open shop sessions at OPLC I've butchered a few rocks myself. Of course along the way my orientation and appreciation for the lapidary arts and smithing has changed and evolved considerably. Hey, they're all cutters now... ;)

Brazilian Stone Carvings by Peter Muller Room 408 at the Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show InnSuites - Caixa postal 92294, Petropolis-RJ, CEP 25741-970, Brazil Phone: 55-24-22221486 Email:

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