Who is this? Hi, my name is Shain Mayer. Nice to meet ya.
Thanks for stopping in here at Freeformcabs and taking a moment to look around. Please never hesitate to contact me here through freeformcabs.com, or through other outlets I’ve been known to troll.
I am a Native Arizonan, 33 years young, living in the Beautiful East Valley of the Metro Phoenix area. This place is known the world around as Apache Jct, home of the Lost Dutchman & The Superstition Mtns.
I have lived near these mountains most of my life, and only continue to grow closer every day. This area is a general rockhound dream; within a 50squaremile area, you can find everything from Gem Amethyst, Druzy, Geodes, Fire agate, Turquoise, and fossils that have often shown rare finds of Raptors, and sea turtles!
The area is also home to many legends spanning from early Apaches to later Jesuits and Spanish explorers. If you ever get a chance, please come visit us in Pantherland, as I call it. It’s a snowbird’s heavenly delight.
Mostly those from the east Verde area. Payson Diamonds and brain head geodes are found in and around the upper east Verde in Central Arizona.
Rock collecting was never a passion as must as a general interest until about late high school when I discovered from my little brother no doubt, a fire agate!
I was so amazed at its uncanny distinct color and play of light. Like an oil slick, but organized and suspended like them insects they put in resin as paperweights. What I didn’t know until many years later, was that was a low-quality piece I was looking at then when I discovered ‘gemstones’.
Only until I saw deer creek fire agate was I truly amazed at its righteous status as our “true” state gemstone. Something I still believe to this day should be stated for recognition of this organic rainbow of candy. This generally is how my passion started for lapidary and wanting to understand more types of materials and ways to cut and polish them for further collecting and/or reselling for jewelry or display pieces.
I came across a large collection close by home, and the owner and I worked together for roughly 4 years during the gem show a season at Quartzsite, AZ. We sold mostly the materials from that collection, which originated from Boise, ID at a place called Marco’s Rockshop.
Agates and Jaspers
It was mostly agates and jaspers from the Owyhee River valley area and the general borderland of Oregon and Idaho. A lot of Homedale plume, Regency, Willow Creek, Brueanu, Blue Mtn, Antelope, and so many other oddities and generalized agates, jaspers, and petrified wood.
We have long parted ways in the rock biz, but I ended up with the majority of the collection. I’ve been working and digging’ from this collection for roughly 12 years and it still gives a surprise every time I go out and sort of look for cutting material. About 4 weeks ago, I actually came across a 7-gram piece of Fordite!
I couldn’t believe it as it was the first time I’d ever found that stuff in there, and it’s been turned and sorted so many times over. This is a photo of the pile last spring before I sold most of it off, It really only looks different now in that is there no growth on it. Allot of fist sizes and smaller pieces left.
I am generally a freeform cutter; I do a little carving and tumbling. But mostly do hand cabochon cutting of many gemstone types, but specialize in picture stones best. I also enjoy Druzy and natural face-cut cabochons, and I do some stone knife work.
I understand the techniques needed to cut opals and jade, as well as special orientation cutting of Pleocoric stones like Moonstone, and Labradorite. Some fire agate carving, but still learning the proper way to cut that stuff. I have cut a lot of copper oxides, chrysocolla silicates, and a few real gem silica.
I cut Turquoise, but honestly never enjoy it but have a surprise from time to time still (even from my overstock collections). Love working plume agate doublets & Triplets, can cut Spencer opal pretty well. Have done special freeform shapes out of good material like Bullets, beads, matching sets, high concaved shapes, double dome cutting, belly cutting, and some carved cabbing using both drill and grinding wheels for fold cutting.