I picked up some photography tips from Lisa Pavelka and my most favorite was a lecture by Lisa Barth who does amazing stone setting with silver metal clay. She has a book out...Designing From The Stone: Design Techniques for Bezel Setting in Metal Clay Using the Stone as Inspiration
She makes beautiful pieces and the book goes through her design process and how she uses the features of the stone to guide her in designing the bezel...on both the front and the back. If you have any interest in bezel setting stones in metal clay....you need this book. Of course I bought it and had her sign it :)
Speaking of stones....here are a few I picked up from Joe Jelks at Horizon Mineral. Joe doesn't have a website but he does shows. You need to check out his stones if you ever run into him at a show.
Anasazi Pot Shards...very cool and after Lisa's class my mind is buzzing with thoughts of the bezels I can make.
Fossilized Dinosaur Bone....really!! I have a hard time grasping that I have a piece of dinosaur bone.
Agate Tubes. Finding these were worth the trip.
I thought they might be thousands of years old. Joe said they are more like millions of years old. They are the result of volcanic ash deposits on the stems of silica rich marsh plant stems in Sumatra.
This is a picture of the primordial place they were created.