An “Indoor Field Trip” was the highlight of the evening at the Aug. 8 meeting. Everyone received bags of earth to search for minerals and fossils.
Lisha Collins demonstrated a jewelry making technique called “Basic Metal Folding” at the Sept. 12 meeting. She folded copper sheets in half, hammered them shut, heated them to a cherry red color and unfolded them revealing beautiful shapes. Another type of folding, forged line folding, is done by hammering the folded metal only on one side. This will cause the finished piece when opened, to be in a curved or pod shape. Lisha displayed several pieces of jewelry she had made using both techniques.
September’s Rock of the Month presentation on pyrite was given by Jerry Collins. Pyrite is an iron sulfide and an ore of gold. It is commonly known as fool’s gold. Modern uses for pyrite are cathode material in non-rechargeable lithium batteries and as a semiconductor. Scott County in Kansas has an interesting form of iron pyrite known as pop rocks or Boji stones.
Susan Reimer presented a program entitled “Iceland and Its Geological Activity” at the October meeting.
Susan recently visited Iceland and was impressed by its earthquakes, volcanic craters, steaming lava fields, solfataras (geographic areas of that have high temperature activity), hot pools and geysers. She also had an opportunity to visit Petra Sveinsdottir’s home and surrounding garden housing her collection of rocks and minerals. Petra, which is Greek for “stone,” started collecting rocks as a child and continued collecting until her death at age 89. Community interest encouraged her to open the museum in her home and garden, after her husband died in 1974. Her children now run her museum in Stodvarfjordur.
Variscite was October’s Rock of the Month, presented by Alan Hedrich. It is a pale green to apple green phosphate mineral named after the German district of Variscite. Specimens can be found in the United States in North Carolina, Utah and Montana. It can be made into jewelry and can be confused with turquoise.
On Nov. 4, club members and the community enjoyed a presentation by Mike Everhart at the McPherson Museum. His talk “When Amber Waves Were Blue,” gave an overview of his work as a paleontologist in Kansas collecting and studying Cretaceous fossils.
Everhart’s visit was sponsored by the McPherson Historical Society and the McPherson Gem & Mineral Club.
The McPherson Gem & Mineral Club will hold its November club meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at the McPherson Senior Center, 112 E. Euclid St. in McPherson.
The November program will be a DVD on the Ashfall Fossil Bed in Nebraska that several of our members recently visited.
The Rock of the Month presentation by Alan Hedrich will be on Blue Halite.