Vasiliev's stonecutting workshop.

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Have a look.



Have a look.





    Jasper.

    There is practically no other hard semiprecious stone with such a long and glorious story like jasper. For nearly three centuries jasper has surely won its first prize in the Russian stonecutting art, successfully competing with any other hard stones. "...On its treatment our stonecutting industry was born and grown up, the Russian jasper occupied the first place in the whole world for the richness and size of its deposits, for wonderfully big articles out of it and for the endless diversity of its tones," academician A.E. Fersman said 50 years ago. The Urals has preserved its priority in the quantity and diversity of jasper up to our times.
    What is jasper? A jeweler or a stonecutting master calls jasper any solid siliceous rock which give a nice luster after polishing. A mineralogist though calls jasper only solid rocks, consisting of tiny quartz grains, soldered by clay or siliceous cement or chalcedony. Since the XVIII - XIX centuries geologists wanted to know the mystery of the origine of this fascinating semiprecious stone. And up to this date specialists continue to dispute about jasper's origine. Some time ago academician A.E. Fersman drew a vivid picture of jasper formation. "Several hundred millions years ago, in the so - called devone period there was no modern Ural mountain - ridge. Sometimes shallow, sometimes deeper sea with separate islands used to cover the place where mountainous chains of the Southern Urals now are. There were no traces of rockforming activity so far, but lava was already pouring out under water, changing the usual landscape of the devone sea. On the sea - bottom covered with pouring out lava there lived fauna various sea - animals with siliceous skeletons. In the complicated chemical process their remains piled up on the bottom, thus forming whole layers of siliceous silt - future jasper".
     A lot of millions of years passed, and powerful processes of rockforming gave birth to the Ural mountain range of 1200 km long. The jasper belt can be compared with a necklace, as jasper deposits stretch themselves not like a whole stripe but with separate jasper regions. Nowadays geologists count up to 207 jasper deposits in 12 regions. What is jasper valued for? Jasper is a highly hard stone: it can't be scratched with even the best steel instrument, it is hard in treatment, but once it is polished, it preserves its mirror luster for a long time.
    The colours of jasper are long lasting too. Jasper doesn't lose its colour like some presious stone do. The main thing jasper is valued for is its colour, which is always different. One is fascinated by fantastic mixture of colours forming most various pictures. Sometimes the mixture of colour is so fine and complicated that one can see a fantastic landscape on the polished piece of stone.

  •   In our work we use monotone, differently coloured, "gay" striped and "printed cotton" jasper. There is no other mineral sort which can be richer in diversity of colours: red - brown of different hues, green, yellow and pale, cherry, coffee, blackish - blue from more than 20 deposits.


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