Thanks for stopping in here at Freeformcabs and taking a moment to look around and learn more about Shain. Please never hesitate to contact me with your questions anytime. I am a Native Arizonan, 43 years young, living in Payson with my Wife Debbie Tucker. My lapidary adventure while living in Apache Jct, home of the Lost Dutchman & The Superstition Mountains. Having lived near these mountains most of my life. This area is a general rockhounds dream; within a 50 square mile area you can find everything from Gem Amethyst, Druzy, Geodes, Fire agate, Turquoise, and fossils that have often show rare finds of Raptors, and sea turtles! The area is also home to many legends spanning from early Apaches to later Jesuits’ and the Spanish explores. If you ever get a chance, please the area.
Shop my catalog now
About Shain and the Shop page to purchase cabochons now! These are a few examples of my favorite pieces and general eye towards cutting materials. Some of these examples may still be for sale.
My studio in the Pines
About Shain and my Studio is located at my Cabin in Payson is can be visited by appointment only. Currently we rent out our apartment to couples, rockhounders, or single travelers. I’ve been collecting stones since I was young, mostly those of the east verde area. Payson Diamonds and brain head geodes 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.
I didn’t know until many years later, 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. I 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.
My old overstock piles
What really got me going was a large collection close by home, and the owner and I worked together for rough 4 years during the gem shows season at Quartzsite, AZ. We sold mostly the materials from that collection, which originated from Boise, ID at a place called Marco”s rockshop. 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 Mountain, Antelope, and so many other oddities and generalized agates, jasper, and petrified wood. We have long parted ways on good terms in the rock biz, but I ended up with the majority of the collection.
I’ve was working and digging” from this collection for roughly 12 years and it still gave a surprise every time I go out and sort or look for cutting material. Once I actually came across a 7 gram piece of Fordite! And I couldn’t t believe it as it was the first time I’ve every found that stuff in there, and it’s been turned and sorted so many times over.
Type of cutting and Materials
About Shain and as freeform cabochon cutter. Enjoying a little carving and tumbling. But mostly do hand cabochon cutting using many gemstone types, but specialize in picture stones best. Druzy and natural face cut cabochons are fun, and I do some stone knife work. Understanding the techniques needed to cut opals and jade, as well as special orientation cutting of Pleocoric stones like Moonstone, Labradorite. Some fire agate carving, but still learning the proper way to cut that stuff. Having 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). I love working plume agate doublets & Triplets, can cut Spencer opal pretty well. Have done special freeform shapes out of good material likes
About Shain Freeform Cutting
Bullets, beads, matching sets, high concave shapes, double dome cutting, belly cutting, and some carved cabbing using both drill and grinding wheels for fold cutting. Here’s a better shot of that Black Druzy Pisomlane that is unreal. make sure to visit my sold cabochons to see all kinds of examples.