Alison Jean Cole: Mt. Hood Rock Club

Rocks, Minerals, and Lapidary Craft in the Pacific Northwest

Websites: Alison Jean ColeMt. Hood Rock Club

The pacific northwest is home to some of the most famous gem-quality agates and jaspers on Earth. It is also home to a strange creature, not unlike a sasquatch, called a rockhound. Rockhounds are avid explorers in seach of fossils, rocks, and minerals in their native environment. No forest road or desert wash is too treacherous for a rockhound to dig - dynamite usually fixes most problems.

In this talk we'll explore the stunning variety of psychedelic rocks and minerals that hail from the Pacific Northwest and how they're formed. We'll also cover lapidary traditions, tools of the trade and how newcomers (like myself) are changing the perspectives of an old-school craft, such as making diamonds in the microwave.

In sixth grade I brought my rock and mineral collection in for show and tell and no one cared. I felt a 12-year-olds version of grave despondence and gave up the hobby for over a decade. A series of serendipitous events over the past 5 years has drawn me back into the hobby, which is now my profession! I am now an active rockhound, lapidary artist, and teacher in the Portland area and couldn't be more thrilled to be reunited with things I love most on/in Earth.