Metal casting is my special interest, but lately I have been revisiting the tools and skills necessary for stone setting. When I was a child, my dad used to take me to a gem and mineral store as a treat after doctor visits - I think he realized that stoking my early passion for shiny metal and rocks helped soothe what were difficult days. I still remember setting faceted topaz into sterling earring settings, and the feeling of awe and accomplishment that followed when I wore those little studs. I collected a handful of quartz octahedrons from that store that I still have with my stone collection, and I look at them often to contemplate their geometries, their smoothness, and their history. Every stone has a past full of pressure, heat, and other forces - I find it inspiring on many levels.