Over the years my beaten by sand jar has grown, along with a collection of sentimental pieces from my journey as an opal cutter.
I wanted to immortalise all these things that mean so much to me and have been a part of my life now for so long — but how?
My thought was to create something that combined them all into a functioning piece of art, something that had a purpose.
Join me on the video below as I reveal the story behind the project.
Project Opal Table
We chose to use a timber called Camphor Laurel which is actually considered an ecological pest in Australia (you can read about it here).
It’s as strong as hardwood with an incredibly beautiful grain running through it.
We paid a visit to David at Aussie Camphor to help us find the perfect piece of timber for our project and as you can see, we found it!
This project was a labour of love — spending many hours tracing, cutting and sanding the table top to fit my treasures in perfectly.
It’s What’s On The Inside That Counts
This incredible tabletop of opals really does represent the whole story of the opal industry from start to finish.
Our starting point is with the ‘Knot’ or the cluster/pocket of opals — the miner finds a pocket in the earth that contains these opals.
Secondly, scattered around the cluster are ‘Floaters’, which are Nobbies that sit by themselves.
Coming across to the ‘Beaten by Sand’ zone — rough pieces of opal that have been ravaged by sand that generally won’t cut a gem.
From here we have the ‘Preforms’ or ‘Rubs’ — these are cut gems ready to be polished.
Now for the show stoppers, the polished gem area — where the wholesale and retail meet in perfect harmony.
Moving onto some unique opalised fossils I have acquired along the way — like wood, coral, bone and even a Yabbi button.
Onto some very personal pieces from my collection — the very first opals cut by my father, Ruth and Saxon and my hand polished opal.
The final piece of the opal journey is jewelry — where most pieces of opal end up, in a beautiful piece of jewelry to be worn with pride!
In conclusion, I am beyond happy with the end result and will enjoy working on top of this incredible piece of opal history every day.