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You share with others our enjoyment of the beauty and Gemstone our appreciation of the art which is the work of nature. The second largest craft hobby in America today is said to be rock hounding with all of its branches of interest some of which are gem cutting making jewelry and the collection of gemstones rocks rolls and fossils. This universal hobby has grown to astonishing proportions in the last 25 years. And shows signs of even more rapid growth as the need developed for more people to pursue more leisure time activities due to the fact that they are working fewer hours have more days off and get more vacation time. Rocks and minerals of specimens are of extreme importance to the
Rocko ever. Most people do not realize the important role rocks and minerals play in everyday living. For example fluorite used in toothpaste and clothing. This series of programs is designed to give an overall picture of the rock help. Offer encouragement to the newcomer in this hobby. And present information of general interest to everyone. All of this will be examined as we explore the world of the rock our. Today's programme is entitled professional art. Part two. The narrator is Len felt one of the oldest and most lasting forms of art is that of carving and polishing gem materials. This is an art which is of keen interest to rockhound many of whom enjoy carving for themselves. Creating figures from the stones that they
found out in the field are purchased during the past few years an increasing number of rock bands and other interested persons have had the privilege of seeing the rare and beautiful items collected by Mr Joseph Lisandro which are exhibited at the Museum of Life a Derry art in Elmhurst Illinois founded by a man whose interest in rocks and stones goes back to early childhood. This institution not only offers the pleasure of seeing rare beauty but goes beyond that in giving interested persons the opportunity to learn and create. There's agro museum has a quarterly publication which contains information about the museum itself and pictures and histories of priceless items from all over the world. Mr. Russell Kamp is editor of the quarterly. He's also a member of the board of directors. In today's program Mr. Camp and his wife Doris who is a volunteer and consultant for the museum discussed this unusual
institution devoted to the lapidary arts. There are many museums in the world but only three completely dedicated to the lapidary are and one in the United States is an alum hers which was located just a little bit west. As a matter of your going away. It is in the center of the earth and wilder park a beautiful park with all the Elmers library and across the street is the Elmhurst College. As you approach the building you'll be surprised to see many interesting objects which my wife Doris want to thrive there are many large pieces of lapidary material that are resting on pillars around the building at the entrance. You will be a thirteen hundred pound boulder of no right. She raised the river area of British Columbia. This is
just as it was picked up in the area only that through the years it is in places like the museum one end of it is beginning to get a very nice polish from just people correcting this as they come and stand and look at it. At the exit there are one it can or a large section of that divide wood from Arizona. This piece of wood of the floor and about 20 inches in diameter. It is a very heavy piece that way three thousand four hundred pounds next to this is the border of Jadeite from Burma. This weighs about 140 pounds and there is what we call a polished window with his death a little in it at the college so that you can see the beautiful colors of lavender and green across the walkway is another very large feet. Now this is not exactly lavatory material but it is one of the metal used in making
jewelry. The lapidary people work with it the hundred pounds that the men of natural half are from the upper Michigan area that has a beautiful green on it and it's a very unusual shape. Something that the artist would perhaps think with Kant in this manner. It was only by Mother Nature and then we have a very large law it's very heavy again. Thirteen hundred pounds. This is green and I came from India. In the first five years of its existence more than 200000 people visited there was a drum museum when it was officially opened in November of nine hundred sixty two. Its purpose was made clear in this dedication statement made by Mr Joseph do you share with others our enjoyment of the kernal beauty and gemstone that our appreciation of the art with which we have complimented the work of nature.
This enjoyment of the beauty of nature and ancient culture is shared in a most modern setting. And years were spent in planning the museum the museum Bilby is a very modern to the whole airconditioned here. With no window in it actually is a jewel black to house them of the world with beautiful again. And I'm not saying the OEM's do not occur overnight. Much thought here the planning precede such a venture. Many people want to know a little bit about Mr. Joseph as I grow and were happy to be able to say that he is the chairman of the board of mean electric company one of the largest electrical contracting firms in the Illinois area is still very active with the firm and is very much alive today many of the visitors the museum has. Who was Mr. Jones of Lazaro
When did he die because they don't realize that many people who are living today have interest and wish to give these answers to the public. It was I who was a hobbyist. His interest was Rock Around the collecting of St.. All over the country and from this he began to cut and polish domes down through the years he developed a love for the many many different types of stone that he became interested in JS and was interested in cutting jades making Talking to give away to the customers of the likely company and he learned during the depression that you could actually buy a beautiful car from the Orient from China. And a much cheaper price that you could buy a rough chunk of G from which to cut pieces that could be used in jewelry and his original intent in buying the Oriental objects was not to display them as art objects but to cut them up and use them for pieces
of jewelry. But as he acquired a few of these pieces any look at the many touched them he fell in love with and he couldn't destroy them by cutting them up as a result. He began to collect Oriental art.. He began to study a little bit about the history of the Orient and the history of Oriental are. So during the last thirty five years that was auto has acquired along with his family many many objects of art some from the Orient some from Italy some dating way back in history some recently carved and constructed. Some time ago he was instrumental in establishing of those I drew Foundation which was a foundation established actually to do works of good charitable educational wise. And from this about seven years ago
came the idea of the library museum so that the foundation established the museum corporation to How's the collection. Mr. Joseph was a girl who had decided that he would like to donate to the people of the world this fantastic and fabulous collection that he had acquired. So the company says they talked with the city fathers of Elmer's and after some discussion it was decided that the village of Elmer's would give two would be was up profound Asian a piece of property in the park if the foundation and the museum corporation would construct a building to house this production and this is how the museum happened to be you know immerse. The entire collection of Mr was auto was donated to the foundation and as a result can never revert
back to the family after the beginning of the plan for the museum seven years ago and the opening of the museum five years ago it was up about it would be necessary to travel around the world and acquire objects that he did not at the present time or at that time own so he made several trips around the world to Brazil India Germany Italy all of the gems others just to collect and to acquire the pieces of the gem materials other than the hard objects that are on display. He had cut many kava Johns of local materials and he had got many Gaveston and then me pieces of jewelry. Rough stones that he acquired from all over the world but he did not have any crystals or any facet is doen so this trip after the museum with it was begun was to wire gem materials
so that the visitor to the museum would be able to see all of the dematerialize we hope eventually to be able to show any one of them visit the museum. Not only just a piece of raw material but also a very nice cash on fast to the stone or are made from a piece of the raw material and the visitors to the museum are amazed particularly those that are not rock arms to learn what some of the raw material looks like. In fact many people who visit the museum do not realize that Topaz comes in a color other than the amber is yellow that we normally associate with both bands. They don't realize that Topaz can be a beautiful blue in fact. The museum recently acquired a facet in blue top that has a way 675 characters. This is a sizable stone not one if you were on a piece of jewelry but certainly one that is a
beautiful addition to a display of topaz and related materials. This just you're also amazed to find such a large variety in the types of articles shown in the ways in which these are displayed inside the building. Even dinosaurs carved from stone can be seen along with polar bears and fish made of agate and the five blessings of life. One of the outstanding features of the museum are the diorama displays. Actually when you look into these recent cases that are approximately 30 inches by 24 inches in size with approximately you know what to what may happen. Yeah you have the feeling that you were actually looking into a picture a three dimensional picture of these diagrams were arranged primarily to interest the young people. You know spending time to learn a little bit about dawn and a little bit about
possibly animals. There are family bird groups of nesting and actually here the birds are carved of stone. They are normally pretty close to life size as the birds and the coloring is very close to life but life size. Naturally they have to use a tree limb and in some cases some of the plastic leaves an artist designs the background so that when a young person looks at it he lets a woodpecker family group and he see the mother and the father woodpecker feeding the young who are nested in a birch tree. They actually can almost visualize being in the hatchery and seeing the woodpeckers. Along with this diorama they have a diagram of the featured dinosaurs of a very popular particularly with the young people. Now here we have a little problem because it's not easy to go out and acquire a carving of a dinosaur are most of the
carvings that are used in the dye RAMmers have been recently done in our over spying in Germany. We send a piece of the rough rock that we wish to have carved to Germany along with a picture or a sketch of the animal or reptile or bird that we wish to tar. With the Dynas are cases we had a slight problem because many of the harbors in Germany were not familiar with the shades nor had ever carved a dinosaur r so that we send a picture to them in an artist's conception of what we wish to dine. The Giants are diorama to look like this dome which we send along some of it had been around the world as well as I don't want his travels had maybe picked up a piece of the Indian Jasper or agate in India sent it to Germany to be hard and then it was returned to the United States for display in a verse included in a
diagram the group r would learn in farm when seen polar diorama was with penguins and bearers and Brazilian AG and fish in an aquarium appearing case with natural coral in the background. Actually the lighting in some of these cases when you look into them make you feel that you are participating in the diorama. The main hall is there actually about 70 by 75 feet and contains the major collection of Oriental art that has been presented to the world by Mr. grow and as you look down the hall you see added an Oriental screen that is 10 handles and laying seven feet high and with a 10 panel measures 13 in with this is a screen that was originally carved approximately two hundred and fifty years ago when the Emperor
Shang along and presented to him as a birthday gift. The 10 panels the big seasons of the years and in the symbolic media wished the Emperor the FAI blessings of life good health and peace of mind prosperity love a Birju long life and happiness. And in the end fulfilling the will of him. This isn't the only Oriental object. There are hundreds of them. Jade's agate Jaspers coral. I agree. And all the other lapidary materials that were used in the carvings of the Oriya we have the coin humans we have religious carvings and ceremonial objects as well as just utilitarian things like this incense burners and the wine vessels and the bottles and the snuff bottles then. Well we could go on for quite a while describing the Oriental objects that are on display. Of particular interest is a jade bee the circular disk
symbolizing eternity no beginning in the end this be was carved in 800 B.C. and it's approximately 18 inches in diameter and has a yellowish brown G very rare very unusual. There are also carvings from the Harlem dynasty which go back to maybe 200 to 600 B.C. then of course we come up to the present the Shang Dynasty 1750s up to the 19th in the 20th century and carvings that have been recently made in Hong Kong. Actually there are some very fine carvings coming out of Hong Kong today. An exhibit of major importance also is the all altars that that they have. This was a step that was made many many years ago and was in the Imperial Palace in the summer palace in Peking and it was taken from China as part of the loot following a Boxer Rebellion
and eventually the dealer's hands and with the choir by means of his idol This is a sizable altars that one that is copied. Today there are copies today throughout the world in smaller pieces. There is a very fine poison a base to each of the pieces in this altars that we know from studying history that the Jade was carved along before the boys in a bases were made. Again Jade is the material that surprises many of our visitors. People that are not rock hounds think of jade as only a green stone and actually JPM and yet appear in almost any color. The Oriental people say that you need to appear in every color of the rainbow and in some colors that mortal man cannot see if your state is white in any color the so she did with the Jade other than White
has been from a mineral or an impurity that it was associated with it when it was when it was being formed. In addition to the carvings there are numerous faceted gem stones some of them in most unusual settings. And there's a collection of birth stones which is always popular with the visitors. We only mention a few of the gemstones earlier but actually there are best of the stones of rubies sapphires Amor old hordes citrine eternally in any of the films that are known to be have ever been used by man are on display in their finished form in their cut form. Another way that these don't happen this late at times through the centuries are as adornments for idols or for personal use. We have an eye reopened in the museum that actually contains over 250 faceted and a canvas shining jems stars and bars again rubies and emeralds. These are
imbedded in the gold. How dull and accoutrements of the elephant. And of course we do not talk about Gems without talking about the birth stone. Then there are cases that display the various birth stones showing not only the very stones but again the rough stones from which they have been cut. And in this case is a picture of Aaron's breastplate which is mentioned in the Bible in Exodus as the background from which our current verse don't have grown. Along with the finish stones and rough material in the birthstone collection are raw materials from many parts of the United States of great interest to the hobbyist who would be using laboratory materials to make their jams and you already there are on display. The materials from the different areas in our country has Abyssinian from California and Oregon and petrified wood from the
various areas of Montana and you can edit and Michigan has a fine display of the materials that are popular there that they have a life in EG and they are shown in a very sizable power specimen and cabbage and Oriental pieces such as butterflies and jewel boxes of especially fine materials we can see Opal and rolls for Amber. Krista Kolo Toure in a lovely display of flowers and fruit that had been made a very is lapidary material. These are the things that you would see on the upper level on the lower level which is approximately the same size again 70 by 75 feet. There's a meeting room that is walled with pieces of colorful mineral specimens from throughout the world. Fossils in the illustrated information on the steps used in fastening
how to cut a kava shine or carbon argy in the meeting room programs are given for children nearly every Saturday afternoon except during the summer months. In the Sunday afternoon there was a closed circuit TV demonstration of gem clothing or jewelry making. Generally for the adult visitor special programs that can be arranged for groups visiting the museum that will tell about the objects in the museum and give the information about the Stones and where they can be found. The museum is open every day and we get that money from 1 until 5 a.m. on Saturday from 10:00 in the morning until 5:00 and there is a gift shop in the museum the museum has a public museum giving to the people by the foundation. But no public funds have been used to build a museum or to provide for its operation.
For those who wish to create their own artwork in St. Louis address museum offers courses in library work and related subjects. These classes are hand in a separate building where materials may be purchased also. Well that was cool of lapidary art is located about one mile from the museum. It accommodate about a hundred per term and there are return in the fall winter and spring. They have basic classes in campus and cutting and a van campus and they think those things happen and also advance of with nothing there or that plan for Iraq and mentally identification and then there are also one in introduction to their knowledge. These classes are usually confined to an intense teacher to allow for more individualized instruction and have all the necessary machinery at his disposal. No time there anyway for a turn.
This is probably the most modern and largest lapidary school in the country it is very well equipped with many grindingly and Sanders several factors and a very well-equipped silversmithing room. Included at this school is Iraq that was the public made by all the various materials that represent the lapidary dome all over the world. And there are fine and they people can buy the book and at home learn to throw their rocks and minerals. We certainly hope that all of your listeners will someday have an opportunity of visiting with us in Homer's Illinois at the lazaretto Museum of lapidary are the subject of today's program has been the lizard room museum in Elmhurst
Illinois. It is one of three museums in the world dedicated to the lapidary arts. And it exists today because of the foresight of Mr. Joseph Lisandro who came to the United States as a young boy and whose early interest in rocks and minerals has been extended to collecting priceless carvings and other works of art done in St.. As mentioned earlier 200000 this juror's came to the museum during its first year of operation and in each succeeding year the number has increased. With the growth of the rockhound hobby it is anticipated that many more persons will learn of this rare institution will come to visit and will come away with a new awareness of the art with which man has complimented the work of nature. It is also hoped that these visitors will return to see new exhibits which are constantly being added. This museum has not confined its treasures
to inside its walls. It is presented displays at numerous rock shows including regional federations shows and the national gem and mineral shows and other meetings. For example in March of 1965 at the Chicago land Flower Show over a hundred fifty thousand spectators saw the jewelled elephant the special jam flowers a jade pagoda and many other objects. Mr. and Mrs. Russell camp are active workers with the museum. He is a member of the board of directors. She acts as a consultant and volunteer. Thanks to both of them for their comments today regarding Mr. Joseph drugs work and the museum.
World of the Rockhound
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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World of the Rockhound is a twenty-four part program about rock collecting produced by WPLN, the service of the public library of Nashville and Davidson County, and Nashville, Tennessee. Episodes focus on topics specific to rock hounding, like collecting, cutting, displaying, and creating artwork from rocks, gemstones, and fossils. The program also discusses broader topics related to geology, like earth science, consumer interests, and professional uses of rocks and minerals.
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Producing Organization: WPLN
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-4-20 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:55
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Chicago: “World of the Rockhound; 20,” 1969-04-28, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 21, 2021,
MLA: “World of the Rockhound; 20.” 1969-04-28. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 21, 2021. <>.
APA: World of the Rockhound; 20. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from