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Author Topic: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes  (Read 2358 times)

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Redrummd

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New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« on: July 23, 2017, 09:25:37 PM »

On the May trip with my partner we did some prospecting at Glass Buttes in Oregon.   In the very last hole I dug I found about 8 pieces of what we are calling Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian.  I dug a hole through the common obsidian flow and hit a piece below that appears to be an much older flow. 

I was very surprised when I started cutting the pieces just a few days ago and my partner and I are heading back 500+ miles this Friday.  We are really hoping that I did not just get lucky and that there is a large flow under the common obsidian that we are the first to find.

Note that the wild colored slab is photographed flat on the bench and held vertically.  Yes, the colors hold pretty much in every direction. if the cut is correctly aligned.  The bands are curved so I am cutting them 1/3 inch thick to allow for aligning cabs and knife scales to the brightest show of color.  It is tricky to work from that aspect but the bands are really stacked thick.  Held up to light you see clear obsidian along with the black and orange sheen bands.

I hope Krystee drops in as she has been to my shop and can verify the photos are real!  :hello2:
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Redrummd

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2017, 09:30:41 PM »

Here are some photos of jewelry I just finished with this Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian.

Redrummd

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2017, 09:45:25 PM »

Here are some knife photos of the knives I did with the Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian.  It is really hard to photograph on knives.  The bright metal of the bolsters and blades makes getting the color and play on the knives hard to capture.

southerly

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2017, 05:14:25 AM »

Nice looking material Michael, I hope you find more.

David
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Redrummd

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2017, 02:20:02 PM »

David,

If the find is large we intend to bring back a full load in my little S10 Chevy truck.  My truck is 4wd and it is a must have for this find for 4wd low as it is pretty close to a 45 degree slope up to the location.  My S10 has a highly modified suspension with air bags and varied rate shocks so we can bring back 1200 to 1400 pounds if we can find that much.

We intend to slab it and sell if we can get enough.  We have decided if we find a lot we will not sell rough as it really requires careful alignment and we would not want bad experiences from buyers cutting it wrong.

By next week we should know if I was just REALLY lucky or if there is an older flow under the common one.  I fear the work required to get this stone is going to be exceedingly tough.  I wonder if any company rents out 4WD  backhoes????    :dontknow:

Orrum

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2017, 02:54:33 PM »

Bobcat with a backhoe accesory instead of a bucket or rent a bantam track hoe. I thing power equip requires filing a claim and posting a bond. Also remember the 12 pound yearly allotment on BLM. Not a enforcer er but hate to see anyone catch a gine.
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Kaljaia

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2017, 03:51:23 PM »

Gorgeous material! Really nice depth in the pattern, especially in those pendants.
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- Erika

I rock hunt in the Antelope/Ashwood area of the John Day river basin in Oregon. 90% of what I post is from this area, from private property where I have permission to hike and collect. The material I find is for personal use only, I do not have landowner permission to sell. Thanks for understanding!

Redrummd

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2017, 10:42:30 PM »

I am going to post pretty much all of the information I have on this location so that anyone who wants to get some can.  There is enough there to dig for sale but I am certainly not willing to work that hard as the digging is REALLY TOUGH.   There are two ways to get to the location and it is easy to find.  It is only about 6 miles from the Highway that runs between Bend and Burns.  The road up to Glass Buttes is just about 100 feet west of the Highway mile marker 77 on the Highway.  I have taken photos of the LO 4WD trail that is the best way up and by far the shortest.  You can see this road up the "hill" from over a mile away.  The road up to the site is on the right just before the cattle guard.  The less vertical route is a lot longer and has a lot of rocks to crawl over or straddle.  I prefer to crawl up the steep slope than risk bottoming out on the rocks on the longer round the "Hill" route up. Here are two photos of the road up the "hill".

Redrummd

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2017, 11:00:01 PM »

This "hill" is known as Mahogany Hill and has a few acres of junky black and mahogony obsidian on the surface which is firm and flat enough to navigate in LO 4WD.  You can drive to any of the 3 bigger holes currently but I recommend walking the path you plan first to be sure no bigger pieces are hidden in the grass or a new hole has been dug.   We have found the Banded Orange Sheen is only in a small area on the side of the bed nearest the steep trail up.

The first photo is the most important photo as it was taken at hole 3.  Hole 1 is over by the larger tree in the photo behind me and hole 2 down and over a bit toward the road from the smaller tree furthest in the photo.  A small test hole, 4 is about 70 feet from hole three walking away from the smaller tree.  Hole 3 seems to be in the middle of the Banded Orange Sheen but hole 4 gave up three pieces just as good as the best out of hole 3.  Holes 1 and 2 have some sheen but a lot more junky stuff.  We left a lot of pieces around hole 1 and 2.   

The 2nd photo shows that you can drive right up to the holes and the third photo shows what the ground looks like over several acres of the flow.

The last photo is looking toward the steep trail up the hill at the road where it flattens out.  The two trees and holes would be directly to your left if you are standing at this spot.  Note the fence to the right for help in location.  Hole 1 is probably only 60 to 80 feet from the road.   The road on the distant hill looks exactly the same from any of the holes so it is also a really good point of reference for finding the holes.

Redrummd

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2017, 11:01:22 PM »

There is evidence of several flows with the top one being mostly junk.  The sheen obsidian is associated with the reddish "brick dust" looking areas.  It is really tough working.  These two photos show the tools we use and the actual pieces we were after.

The sheen is difficult to see at first as the obsidian does not want to chip along the lines that the orange sheen is in.  It always wants to chip across the flow lines so you have to look at an angle down the bands to see the sheen. 

There seem to be two orange sheen flows with one over the other.  Down below the 2nd sheen layer we found a mostly black and red flow that looks good and has little pumice flecks with some having none.  Getting down that deep is REAL HARD WORK.

Redrummd

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2017, 11:02:12 PM »

 This photo shows what you are looking for.  Note the orange/red rind from the reddish brick dust mix.  Almost all of the black, orange and clear layered pieces are long and thin.  The thin banded mostly orange pieces look like the more typical potato shape.

The pieces to the left with the normal colored "skin" are from the upper layer without any sheen in them.  Once we get to the sheen pieces we test chip the tiny ones to be sure and do not test chip the bigger ones.  In the dirt and rock we left around the hole there are probably a hundred or more smaller orange sheen pieces that should show up really well after a rain storm.

Redrummd

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2017, 11:02:59 PM »

I test sand every piece before I cut it to get the sheen aligned as best possible.  The bands are curved so I still cut the slabs very thick to allow aligning the sheen in every piece as I sand it.  For photos here I took an extra few minutes to polish the sanded area.  One photo was taken on my shop desk flat, one vertical and one with the two pieces held back together.  The sheen plays well across the piece when it is moved so photos do not really show all that is going on with the stone. I probably should just cut the polished test section off and enter it in the next cab "contest" as I never seem to remember to take photos of me doing my works.....

Redrummd

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2017, 11:03:29 PM »

The last step before sawing into slabs is to flat lap the piece to get the best sheen angle aligned properly flat to the spot I JB Weld the stone to a piece of wood.  So, the two pieces from test hole 4 are ready to slab now.  I think I should get 4 sets of earrings from this relatively small piece.

Orrum

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Re: New find - Banded Orange Sheen Obsidian from Glass Buttes
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2017, 04:52:42 AM »

Wow that's great of you to share!!!

Need to efit my post to 125 pounds a year?
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