After my recent successes with agate engraving, a friend wound up at an estate sale with a treasure trove of natural agate slices for sale for only a dollar or two each. She thought of me and my laser, and bought three tubs of stone slices for me to use. While a few of the slices are fully polished, many of them are only partially smoothed. I’m not in any position to pick up a flat lap to do the polishing myself, but I decided to see how well the laser did on the unpolished agate. Turns out, it looks just as good!
Here’s a fully polished stone, the rest are unfinished.
As you can see, there’s a pretty noticeable texture difference when engraving through the crystalline centers of the slabs, or across the grain of the stripes. But I ran into that with the more polished slabs I used before too, so that’s just the nature of the stone.
That sailboat nails it with horizontal streaks in the stone! When slabbed thin enough to transmit light they are called transparencies, and sunlight through them has a great effect. Nice work on pegging the settings.
Thanks! I made her a nice sentimental design for a graduating family member, and she also gets “first dibs” on any design before I put it up for sale. The hope is that sales from these will help her set up her own art table so she can start doing markets around town with us.
I like the last image in the first post the best, but you did a great job of using the natural patterns in the stone for the sailboat and hedgehog. I haven’t gotten my hands on agate yet, but now I really hope to!
Those are beautiful! I’ll have to keep my eye out for some agate slices! My favorites are the 3rd and 5th, especially the 5th, the sailboat. Thank you so much for sharing these with us, and for your settings.
Of all the rocks you might put through the laser I think Agate is the best to use. It will stand the heat shock and not give off chemicals that would poison you or the machine. There are machines with a vibrating table that will polish agate slabs like those but can take weeks to accomplish the goal.