by HeySal
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I don't know if any of you remember me flagrantly boasting about the leather crafted belt my niece made for me or not ............but this is what I just made for her. 'Cause that's the kind of stuff we do in my family. We get a charge out of creating. My sister is actually an artist. I'm just an idiot with some supplies now and then that need to be something.

The angle's a little too far from the top and I'd have liked more straight on to show more of the tree form, but, hey - I'm not a photographer either.

Silver tree sitting on Owyhee Blue Opal, Idaho garnet "cherry Blossoms". Base - Black Jasper.



  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Here's the front view:

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    Sal
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      That's really creative Sal, well done. Out of interest are you on the E cigs or am I seeing something totally different?
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      Wibble, bark, my old man's a mushroom etc...

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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Cigar with a tar block filter. LOL - I didn't know that was going to be part of the picture. The guy who was nice enough to take a few pics wasn't a photographer either.
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    Sal
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      Cigar with a tar block filter. LOL - I didn't know that was going to be part of the picture. The guy who was nice enough to take a few pics wasn't a photographer either.
      Ah I see, didn't look like a ciggy or a E cig. Cheers, I don't think I've heard of a tar blocker before either.

      Back to subject though, you've more talent than you realise. (Not for smoking, making things )
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      Wibble, bark, my old man's a mushroom etc...

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  • Profile picture of the author FreedomBlogger
    That looks awesome man!!

    Very creative from you!

    I wish you the best of the best!

    Keep up the great work for sure!

    Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author WalkingCarpet
    Banned
    Looks like atree stuck on a chocolate donut. Yum.
    Wait- gonna hit the supermarket for some chocolate donuts.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I've never met anyone who jasper makes think of donuts before. There are some pretty darn edible looking agates around, though.
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    Sal
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Nice. It reminds me of bonsai trees I used to grow
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    The cigars are the same size as cigarettes. They have fewer additives than cigs over here. The blocker is a little filter you stick on the end and it traps all the tar so you're not smoking that, too.

    The tree - I'll be making these now. I'm getting some stock up for a rock and gem show - maybe just a booth somewhere the first year or two, then will be making my own RHS1 rock and gem shows. I have some pretty large chunks of opalized wood and other rock to put them on. Not all will have the garnet "blossoms".

    Each of my family has one and they get a lot of comments. I think other people seem to find trees as aesthetically pleasing as I do.
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    Sal
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    My thanks button just died. Suzanne - I might end up making a few shaped like bonzi. Never know. Depends upon what I'm putting them on. I've seriously mulled the idea of a two foot copper pine tree.
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    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
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  • Profile picture of the author anynewsbd
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    • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
      Yes, l would agree with Richard, you are a lot more talented than you give yourself credit for!

      I am an artist, and can see good symmetry, form and balance of related elements, or to put it another way it looks good!

      One of those with AU opals would be pretty mind blowing, although too expensive!

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      • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
        it's gorgeous, Sal -

        home-made gifts are the best to give and to receive, aren't they?
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      • Profile picture of the author HeySal
        Originally Posted by tagiscom View Post

        Yes, l would agree with Richard, you are a lot more talented than you give yourself credit for!

        I am an artist, and can see good symmetry, form and balance of related elements, or to put it another way it looks good!

        One of those with AU opals would be pretty mind blowing, although too expensive!

        The black opal in the US (there are two places it's found - AU and Virgin Valley, NV) - will be about a hundred mile drive from me when I move. It's all claimed - fee digs. It's a bit spendy to dig for it but the value of a good hit dwarfs the cost of the digging). The stuff is pretty far underneath so it's unlikely I'll be striking my own claim, but ya never know what you'll find in the field.

        I've got some other rock for more of these though - however, have quite a drive to get more of the small pink garnet - but I don't put anything on most of the trees, anyway.
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        Sal
        When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
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        • Profile picture of the author AprilCT
          You did quite a nice job, Sal. I think you and I have the same problem, not giving ourselves enough credit for the things we can do. I've been slapping myself every time I see creative things or ideas made and sold as if they were gold and worth a ton because there are a lot of things I can do just as well and should not be downplayed.

          Learn to give yourself credit where it's due!
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            Sal - I really like that! Well done.

            Sounds like you've done this before - have you ever tried making a willow tree?
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            • Profile picture of the author HeySal
              Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

              Sal - I really like that! Well done.

              Sounds like you've done this before - have you ever tried making a willow tree?
              Thanks, Kay. Yes I have made them before - 3 now for family, one for myself. I haven't done willow yet, but have a few rocks that I think one might look real good on. They're no tougher to make, just take more wire.

              I never made these commercially because I didn't realize the price they can pull. Now that I know, I plan to have several of them in any rock show I participate in. Different sizes, and of course, each unique. The rock bases I use will hike the value and price I can get per tree, too. After seeing the prices of trees on regular wood bases, mine are a little more valuable because they sit on semi-precious stone.
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              Sal
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              • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
                Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

                The black opal in the US (there are two places it's found - AU and Virgin Valley, NV) - will be about a hundred mile drive from me when I move. It's all claimed - fee digs. It's a bit spendy to dig for it but the value of a good hit dwarfs the cost of the digging). The stuff is pretty far underneath so it's unlikely I'll be striking my own claim, but ya never know what you'll find in the field.

                I've got some other rock for more of these though - however, have quite a drive to get more of the small pink garnet - but I don't put anything on most of the trees, anyway.
                Yes, l remember going to Bendigo, and fossicing for Opals, or we spend all day sifting through a slag heap, or pile of cray.

                I ended up with a nice, amberish, clear small rock, and my parents ended up with a nice blue greenish one.

                Probably worth quite a bit, but we never had it evaluated.

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                • Profile picture of the author HeySal
                  Originally Posted by tagiscom View Post

                  Yes, l remember going to Bendigo, and fossicing for Opals, or we spend all day sifting through a slag heap, or pile of cray.

                  I ended up with a nice, amberish, clear small rock, and my parents ended up with a nice blue greenish one.

                  Probably worth quite a bit, but we never had it evaluated.

                  Those black opals are worth good bucks - especially for a high quality stone. The opal in AU is more stable than the ones up in NV over here so are even more valuable. Some of the prettiest stone on the planet from my point of view. We have another opal mine up near where I am now - but the price to dig for a day is $1,500 and so only gets commercial business. It's blue opal rather than the black, but you can tell from that price that opal is a pretty expensive stone when it's got quality.
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                  Sal
                  When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    I also thought immediately of bonsai trees, especially from the second picture.

    You could sell these for a decent price at Etsy. I normally never buy stuff like this, but I'd be tempted just because I really like crystals and gems. One angle or idea is to call them bonsai trees; never need pruning, watering or whatever.

    Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Absolutely awesome gift and I'm glad you see retailing them - make a lot of people happy
    with a special decoration. Boutique hotels as well.

    Dan

    PS - you could be a hand model. LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Thanks Ken - shipping is a problem. They are extremely fragile. Thinking maybe wood box with anchoring so it won't move and the wire won't touch anything - that wire is small gauge and bends real easy.

    Dan, thanks also. But hand model? LMAO. My hands are the only really geriatric looking part of my body. Well, feet, too. I don't think I'd make much with the wrinkled, age spotted mitts. My hands weren't all that pretty when I was 18 and they haven't gotten better since. Trust me on that one.

    If you want to spot a rockhound or other geologically entertained person in the crowd - check out their hands. YIKES.
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    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

      Thanks Ken - shipping is a problem. They are extremely fragile. Thinking maybe wood box with anchoring so it won't move and the wire won't touch anything - that wire is small gauge and bends real easy.

      Dan, thanks also. But hand model? LMAO. My hands are the only really geriatric looking part of my body. Well, feet, too. I don't think I'd make much with the wrinkled, age spotted mitts. My hands weren't all that pretty when I was 18 and they haven't gotten better since. Trust me on that one.

      If you want to spot a rockhound or other geologically entertained person in the crowd - check out their hands. YIKES.
      Wrap them in pallet wrap, which is like very strong "Handi Wrap". You can buy it at places like Office Depot, etc.

      Lay down a layer of Styrofoam, then get a can of that spray foam insulation stuff and use it to fill in the box/crate around the pallet wrap. You'll have custom, form-fitting protection.
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      • Profile picture of the author HeySal
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        Wrap them in pallet wrap, which is like very strong "Handi Wrap". You can buy it at places like Office Depot, etc.

        Lay down a layer of Styrofoam, then get a can of that spray foam insulation stuff and use it to fill in the box/crate around the pallet wrap. You'll have custom, form-fitting protection.
        Thanks, Kurt. I'll check that out if I need to ship any. Like I said - nothing can touch the wires or they bend, so it would have to form a bubble more or less around the tree, and also hold it firm to the bottom.

        I don't think I'll be shipping these per say, though, actually - other than maybe a rare once or twice. For one thing, I can't mass produce them. Secondly - I need stock for shows and later for my own showcases, but still will need some way for people who purchase them to transport them safely. They'll be quite spendy and not something that I want to see ruined in the carry-out.

        I had a member of my website up this summer and he brought me a crap load of nice medium gauge real copper wire, so my next one will probably be a couple feet tall! I can hardly wait to go hunt down a Wonderstone to put it on!
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        Sal
        When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
        Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, balloon type packing thingies you can probably get at a FedEx, UPS, or pack and ship place should do just fine.

    I knew a hand model. The picture with your hand reminded me of her.

    Dan
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by bizgrower View Post

      Bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, balloon type packing thingies you can probably get at a FedEx, UPS, or pack and ship place should do just fine.

      I knew a hand model. The picture with your hand reminded me of her.

      Dan

      Can't use bubble wrap or peanuts - they bend that gauge of wire. Maybe for large trees with heavy gauge wire, but not for small ones. Nothing can touch those wires.

      The shape of my hands is good - but they're old looking. This photo doesn't show how rough they are. I can still model stuff like short shirts with a midrift showing, but I'd have to have my hands in my pockets or behind my back, LOL.
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      Sal
      When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
      Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    Understand about mass production. That's OK, these are artworks so people will understand that you cannot or will not mass produce them. And that's another factor that accounts for the higher price. Exclusivity and all that stuff.

    As for shipping; anything can be safely shipped. This is the twenty-oneth century, after all.

    Looking at the image, and I didn't notice your hand before, you just need to anchor it very well so it won't move even if the box is upside down. Maybe experiment and build a frame with plywood so it protects it from pressure from above. Then, put the frame in a heavy cardboard box. Of course get stickers for fragile, this end up, do not drop, etc. I think that will work.

    Naturally, figure in the S & H into the price and tell 'em "Free Shipping."

    Another cool thing is to include a document for each tree explaining the crystals or gems in their tree and maybe a little history of them. You know, some gems/crystals are supposed to have certain energies were/are believed to be helpful for certain things. People will like it.

    You know how it is, there are people who will pay a moderately hefty price for something like that. And it's art which helps justify the high price.

    Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by KenThompson View Post

      Understand about mass production. That's OK, these are artworks so people will understand that you cannot or will not mass produce them. And that's another factor that accounts for the higher price. Exclusivity and all that stuff.

      As for shipping; anything can be safely shipped. This is the twenty-oneth century, after all.

      Looking at the image, and I didn't notice your hand before, you just need to anchor it very well so it won't move even if the box is upside down. Maybe experiment and build a frame with plywood so it protects it from pressure from above. Then, put the frame in a heavy cardboard box. Of course get stickers for fragile, this end up, do not drop, etc. I think that will work.

      Naturally, figure in the S & H into the price and tell 'em "Free Shipping."

      Another cool thing is to include a document for each tree explaining the crystals or gems in their tree and maybe a little history of them. You know, some gems/crystals are supposed to have certain energies were/are believed to be helpful for certain things. People will like it.

      You know how it is, there are people who will pay a moderately hefty price for something like that. And it's art which helps justify the high price.

      Ken
      Ken - exactly what I was thinking. Needs a wood box because I've seen what UPS does to cardboard boxes. I figure I can wire the base to the bottom of the box then just stick it in a regular box and that should be good.

      Not all of them have gem leaves or buds - some are plain wire - the bases I use are always semi-precious stone, though, so the value goes up just from that alone.

      This is one I did on a rock that is a mix of quartz crystals and pink/orange agate. This is a very bad pic. I really need to get better pics, too. Have a camera on my "have to have list".

      Anyhow - a plain tree doesn't pull the price unless it's sitting on an expensive piece of rock - but still enough to do the work on it.

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      Sal
      When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
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  • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
    Originally Posted by HeySal View Post

    I don't know if any of you remember me flagrantly boasting about the leather crafted belt my niece made for me or not ............but this is what I just made for her. 'Cause that's the kind of stuff we do in my family. We get a charge out of creating. My sister is actually an artist. I'm just an idiot with some supplies now and then that need to be something.

    The angle's a little too far from the top and I'd have liked more straight on to show more of the tree form, but, hey - I'm not a photographer either.

    Silver tree sitting on Owyhee Blue Opal, Idaho garnet "cherry Blossoms". Base - Black Jasper.



    Look at you girl! I love it and am impressed.

    I like it better than the belt your niece made you and I adored that!


    Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    That looks good, it's pretty. Naturally, you can plant a seed in peoples' minds that adds value and therefore further helps to justify the price. The seed is telling people.how you trek, hike, and generally go through hell and high water to find all those rocks. Then you creatively torture yourself for endless hours as you create each piece.

    Are you planning on making a website just for this project? I think it's a good idea.

    I got an idea yesterday. It's for pieces targeted to those who generally believe in energies ascribed to crystals and gems. You can make something like a tree with stones in it, but use a particular type of stone or several different types of stones that complement each other, energetically.

    An example would be a tree with crystals/gems helpful for opening chakras. Then you would call that piece something like the chakra tree, or chakra opening tree. That would appeal to that crowd, and the possibilities are nearly endless for products of that type.

    Here's another idea. Make dream catchers with crystals/gems in them. Then do everything else with info about the stones. I'm sure you could use stones that are appropriate for sleeping and dreaming. Sort of an upscale native thing.

    There's a lot you can do with this, so I hope you get it going and it goes well.

    Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Interesting thing about pricing such art.

    I talked to a wholesaler of pretty, painted ostrich eggs. They retail in Georgetown, CO for $80.00 and $800.00 on Vail, CO. Yep, ten times difference. The market is different, and so is the amount retailers have to pay for retail space.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Actually - I have a friend who's been doing rock shows for many years - he says any time you attach the metapysical uses of the stones, they take double to triple the prices. I have about 100 lb of small stone and petrified wood that I will be selling as "wellness" stones with info about what they are traditionally used for.

    Incidentally - I wrote an article once on stones being used for health (I called it "Take Two Crystals and Call Me In the Morning", lol). Becuase of the vibration of the different minerals, the idea that they can help heal isn't all that strange at all. Some were ingested for healing, and again - the mineral content would make sense helping for some maladies. Quartz crystals do ionize water. So, all in all, there's scientific basis for that tradition now that we know what we know about minerals. Some can make you sick or kill ya, too.

    Anyhow - there's always ways to market beautiful stone. I have some petrified wood that the guy I hunted it with cabs (cabochons for jewelry and belts) that he's getting $80 for just the unmounted cabs. That's a little work for him, but experienced lapidary artists can make money that figures into some pretty impressive per hour rates. Those that get nice enough stone......get rich.
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    Sal
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