All my life I've been an early riser. As a kid in Brooklyn, N.Y I would be up first. It's like
that searching for abalone shells. You have to get up early with the morning's first light and be on the beach. The abalone
reflects light. In full sun they are washed by it and dont show color. When that happens you can't see them. If it's cloudy
you're ok. Then the search begins. Good eyes are a must. If your far sighted you can see them in the distance between the
rocks and sand. But any old beach won't do. You need to know the right beach. It's like finding a needle in a haystack. You
need to know where to find the Secret World of Abalone in Mendocino.
When I found my first piece of this gem shell in Mendocino, I was living on the street with the homeless. Up early I'd head
down to the beach to catch the tide and any shell that washed upon the shore. The waves would crash on the sand and rocks
and I would chase down the abalone. You had to be fast or the next wave would hit you and that was no fun. I'd have a shopping
bag to carry what I found. Some days, after a few hours of intense concentration, which passed like minutes, I'd have a big
load to carry. Whether big or small I felt blessed and gave glory to God and my Savior Jesus Christ.
I'm going to tell you how to find treasures of beautiful abalone that would make any museum jealous. I'm going to tell you
what you'll need to know about abalone and what to wear if your preparing abalone jewelry. And I'll give you specific instructions
how to make abalone a true gem shell in the raw without hurting your body and causing you serious damage.We who know abalone
are very careful working with it or they DON'T work it at all!
Abalone is a natural resource off the west coast of the United States. There are many varieties such as red, green, black,
white and pink. I'm not saying the shell of any of these is not desirable but if I had to choose any one it would be the big
reds for color, thickness and overall versatility. You will find the green to be colorful, as well, but smaller, and the black
pearly with hints of pinks and a trace of clear opal essence. For jewelry the red is tops. That's why Mendocino, Ca is the
best area to search. It's home to the big reds . Next, I'm going to tell you where to find some pieces and how to preserve
Recently I did an exhibition of abalone jewelry my wife and I design. We've been doing this for 18 years. During our showing
an older man in his 80's came to the table and studied our jewelry for what seemed like a few minutes. I was watching him
and finally asked if he had a favorite gal he was thinking about and if I could be of some help. He bowed his head and started
to cry saying he did but she died a year earlier. I reached out and went to his side and asked him if his wife knew The Lord
Jesus. He said yes, still in sadness and tears. He really missed her. But what comfort he has now. Once his wife's spirit
left her body it was immediately with God; her body in a state of sleep, waiting for the call of our Lord, when it will rise
up from it's resting place a spiritual body perfect for eternity and never again to taste corruption or sin. Thank you Father
for Jesus Christ who will raise us up on that day. There is loving sadness in death but strength in the sure hope that the
Lord keeps his word.
In this life one encounters a lot of baloney. Of late I would have to say ah baloney is in vogue. That's a good reason to
get to truth and a foundation that's rock solid. I strongly suggest opening The Bible and stand on the rock of all rocks
who is Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. And THAT'S no baloney.
Jesus made the abalone and gave me some. I am humbled by this gift. He taught me how to see it for it's real beauty and create
something worthy for his glory. I thank the Holy Spirit inside me for teaching me to give The Glory to God. Next I will try
to help you in your journey to the abalone world and, if God wills it, to forevermore in His family and the Golden City, New
Jerusalem, prepared for all who love Him.
The abalone is a gem shell, multifaceted in color, with opal and pearl essence. It has a hardness value of 4, which is durable
and not difficult to work with in regards to breakage. One must be prepared to be very careful when trying to alter its shape
or drill it. Lapidary equipment is necessary when grinding and must be water fed so dust from the shell is washed into a holding
basin and not into the atmosphere. Breathing the dust will cause lung damage. A professional facemask is essential to totally
protect against inhaling it which has an asbestos like effect in the lungs. The mask must be rated for very fine particles
and fumes and is a double filter type costing about $44. DO NOT use any other type of mask or think holding ones breath is
sufficient. Gloves are helpful so the abalone doesn't get into the pores in a liquid form though I don't know for sure if
that's a problem but better safe then sorry. Some people are allergic to the dust and can have a bad reaction like passing
out. I caution everyone that it's safer NOT to alter abalone unless you have proper training from a professional .
Sand blasting will be effective in starting the finishing process. Use medium to fine grit, wash and oil with olive or canola
and see how it looks. If not fully acceptable then go to 00 thru 0000 steel wool and do a final polish with green jewelers
rouge and buff with high speed buffing device. You also might want to oil the shell before you finish it by allowing the oil
to soak in overnight then wipe off and buff. If you want to do all this by machine get a small tumbler from a lapidary store
with 4 types of grit and follow book instructions in use of the grit.
Hand working the abalone can be very instructive and will also strengthen your upper body by dynamic natural tension.
As you work the shell you begin to get intimate with it and see things you didn't see before. The abalone commands a careful
eye to visualize it's potential and see it's true colors and imagery like a surreal painting on a live canvas. It WILL speak
to you if you get into it and it will entice you into an intimacy that will astound and compel you to go deeper into it's
complexity. In my opinion it is the queen of all shells on the planet .
Often I have heard from people who have good taste and can afford even the most expensive jewelry how beautiful the abalone
is to them. In Malibu,Ca, where I do shows from time to time, i've had ladies such as Jane Seymour, just fall in love with
an abalone necklace or two and get quite engaged in their acquisition. Jane really enjoyed herself trying on different designs
and matching earrings. She seemed to glow when it was on her and was totally at ease with the crowd of people that gathered
around. My wife and I were invited to her home and spent several hours there showing our jewelry to a film crew and lots of
her assistants gathered for a new book she is publishing which will feature many of our museum quality jewelry designs. Pamela
Anderson came by one day and had to have a crystal and gold abalone anklet that looked real sexy on her. She is down to earth
and a devoted mother as well as quite striking without any makeup. And Pierce Brosnan dropped by my booth one day and stood,
for what seemed like a very long minute, staring at my abalone display without saying a word. He has never purchased jewelry
from me but his wife Keely wears her abalone necklace that she recieved as a birthday gift. Michael Madsen's wife, De Anna,
Never takes her anklet off !
I never make claims that abalone can have an effect on particular health problems. Many professionals do even in the chiropractic
field. In this world one meets up with all kinds of beliefs. For me there is one great healer who can even raise the dead
and surely can heal me of any disease or overcome any problem that I may have. That is the Lord and Savior of the world,
Jesus Christ, the great physician and the only begotten Son of GOD. He gave me a part of what he created on this planet, not
to covet or idealize, but to use for his glory. HE is the creator and the author and finisher of my faith and will see me
thru to the very end and lift me out from this very earth never to die again.
When I searched along the rugged coast of northern California for pieces of wild abalone I noticed that divers who came ashore
with their catch would often carve the abalone from out of the shell and discard what remained. And I would be right there
to pick it up. You cant imagine how beautiful it looks fresh out of the Pacific in gorgeous colors stimulating some creative
design in my head. A lesson is learned : see where they dive for abalone and get down to that beach and look for it. Ask the
locals where the abalone is and local shopkeepers who will be glad to make a suggestion or two.
If your interested in travel you might consider going north of Mendocino, Ca as far up as the Oregon coast. Beyond that there
is abalone but it is not good for jewelry. It has very little color. Can you climb? Are you in good physical shape and have
proper boots to wear? You will need to be very careful climbing down and up fairly steep cliffs. Especially in damp or rainy
conditions which often is the case along the coast. Take some water and a piece of fruit for your stay. And make sure you'll
be warm. You can always take something off but if you dont have it you may have to leave too soon or you might get sick. Early
mornings can be chilly in Mendocino.
Without God in my life everything is in vain. It's not easy to get ones mind around this truth. Earlier I spoke of having
the pleasure of visiting with Jane Seymour, the famous actress and fine artist, at her home in Malibu,Ca. I was wearing an
abalone cross I carved. During the several hours I spent with her she asked if I was a Jew and I responded "yes". She proceeded
to inquire do Jews wear the cross, not in any derogatory manner and I responded that I did. I would have loved the opportunity
to talk with Jane about this but I could not. Now id like to say a few things about that subject.
When God called Abraham who is the father of Judaism it was because He knew that he would be faithful to the promises that
God made. The most important was his faith to believe the promise that God would send His Messiah to deliver the Jews from
the curse of sin and from spiritual death itself which is eternal seperation from God. This promise could only be accepted
by faith. And Abraham was a man of faith.
So there are two aspects to being a Jew; born of Abraham's sons line, Isaac, whose line Jesus came from AND faithful to
the promise of a savior who would be sent by God to deliver the people from their sins. That promise was fulfilled when Christ
was born of a virgin, died for our sins and rose on the third day as the first fruits of the dead never to die again. This
I believe. And the empty cross signifies His death, resurrection and the doorway to eternal life thru Him . That is what makes
me a Jew.
For by grace am I saved through faith and that NOT of myself, it is the gift of God lest I boast of works. And according
to scripture no one has perfect works, not even a great actress like Jane Seymour. Oh how I wish I could be in her presence
again. She is a beautiful woman and very smart. I would explain that Jews do wear the cross and founded the very church Christ
loves. The Jews didn't reject Jesus, it was the nation of Israel that did. But in each generation a remnant of Jews maintain
that belief. One should indulge in bible study starting with the Old Testament and answer the simple question: what's wrong
with Jesus and eternal life through Him?
When was the last time you went on a treasure hunt? In our work-a-day life there is little time to indulge in random exploration,
to say nothing of hours, searching remote beaches where only seagulls fly and other human footprints are never seen. If one
could only set aside the daily labors of life and meander down to a new and mysterious beach imagine the thrill of finding
a giant 10 inch abalone shell in nearly perfect condition. This happened to me, one fine morning, in Mendocino,Ca.
It was cold that day and the brisk wind chilled my face as I watched huge Pacific waves hit the shore with thunderous roars
while a residue of rain fell mist like on my face. I was at my spot I walked down to the beach too many times before. Slippery
and wet, the muddy trail was dangerous to hike. I decided to go and sidestepped like a beginning skier on a steep mountainside
careful in each movement for to fall would leave me seriously injured and isolated from any possible help. I made it and and
with a big sigh of relief breathed in the refreshing sea air. And right there, a few feet from where I stood, lay a giant
red abalone shell in all it's splender, the biggest one I ever saw. Here was a treasure, a gift of nature by God's command,
Out of nowhere, unmerited favor cast a glance my way, and realization dawned that God had blessed me to make this find. I
thought about it for a while as I walked the beach picking up small pieces of abalone and avoiding the huge waves hitting
the shore. How good is God! To create such a shell and lay it right at my feet. I began to sing a song of praise looking out
over the ocean and to Mendocino village in the distance still in morning repose.
Isn't this how God gives us salvation. We did nothing to deserve His favor,and we are unworthy of such a blessing: the free
gift of eternal life by grace through faith in His Son who died for our sins and rose for our justification. And not that
I could do anything to earn it but solely because God loved me from before I was in my mother's womb, even before the world
was made! And this beautiful abalone shell was a reminder to me of God's Amazing grace, and how sweet the sound, that saved
a wretch like me...Thank you Father.