Helen's Apprentice Log — Day Two, Saturday

 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist managing editor Helen Driggs spent nine days in apprentice mode with master lapidary and jewelry artist Michael Boyd at his Pueblo, Colorado studio.  This is her day-by-day log of her experiences.

Michael and I caught up with each other for the drive south to Pueblo, catching up on life since Tucson, and brainstorming the coming week. We got to the studio mid afternoon and played around with the slab and trim saws, did some bench prep, then I settled into the guest room and we ate. It's good to be a Boyd apprentice. Michael is a fantastic cook, versed in many styles of cooking, and he fed me so well all week I became spoiled. Despite my full tummy, I did manage to slab two huge hunks of some new jasper I bought in Tucson. That's when I found out that Michael cuts as he goes. "I never completely slab my rough. I try to cut something into a cube or rectangle and only take off what I need as I need it."

The Boyd studio is a treasure trove, with drawer after drawer of agate, spectrolite, dino bone, jasper, citrine, aqua, garnet, ruby and other gemmy materials, and partly completed work strewn all over the place. Michael's regular apprentice, Ryan Gardner, refers to Michael's bench as "Boyd's void," and I often went "rock hunting" in the backyard, where piles of rough were parked on the concrete patio, overflowing from barrels and bins, near the veggie garden, and on every available flat surface, just like the bench.

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