Monday, January 9, 2012

Out Of This World Love

A finished heart
Rarely does a material come across my bench that speaks to me the way meteorite does.   I had seen it used for knife handles by many knife makers.  I had also seen it cut on a lathe for wedding bands.  The machinery needed to work with meteorite is intense.  I use a large band saw that I sit at.  Very slowly the blade works it's way through the iron, and can only cut a straight line.  I joke that I could cut our living room couches in half with this saw, but it's true.  Then tough belt grinding to shape the hearts.  It heats up quickly, so I must protect my fingers while grinding.  Drilling the hole for the chain dulls drill bits, and gets too hot to hold before the hole is done.  I etch them in nitric acid which pops the texture.
Traced and ready to cut
Band saw cutting
The other reason that meteorite is so meaningful to me is it's origin.  I'm a space nerd.  Thinking about a meteorite  careening toward Earth, and crashing to the ground excites me.  I know, I'm a weird woman.  I don't care.  I think wearing something, or having something that has been flying around our galaxy is fantastic!  Which is why every year for Valentine's Day I make and sell meteorite hearts: "Out of this world love"  I call them.

The cost of the material is starting to make it prohibitive, as materials and my time to make this item make it costly for buyers. However, there is no one else making anything like them.  So I do. My husband doesn't even use this material.  But because of him, and sharing his knife making shop, we have the tools to work meteorite.   Below is the history of the pieces I am using for other science minded types who want to know more.

"Two masses were found in 1967, total 323 kg. It was determined as coarse octahedrite, bandwidth 2.0 mm(iron llE). There was new expedition on Seymchan meteorite place in 2004. During the expedition there were several finds of different size meteorite individuals. Recent find shows that this meteorite is close to Glorietta Mountain and contains NUMEROUS OLIVINE GRAINS!!!! SEVERAL SMALL INDIVIDUALS FOUND ON SPRING TERRACE. It was a big surprise after cutting the individuals that they contain few olivine grains and shows a nice structure. Iron meteorites are composed of primarily iron and nickel alloys and are believed to be derived from planetary cores that were broken apart billions of years ago. Meteorite is absolutely stable, not any rust going on it after cutting. The pictures shows metal structure, olivine grains forms, It is interesting that some individuals contain olivine and other not contain olivine. Some individuals has surface with fusion crust like Sikhote-Alin, some looks like Chinge, and some looks like Sikhote shrapnel."
Each piece is different.

Thanks for reading.
Each day is a gift, open now.