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Warden Point Red Flint

This was the stone that started it all. I found this stone several years ago on the beach near Leysdown-on-Sea, Kent – long before I got my polishing machine – and it has been hanging around ever since.  It was just a large sea pebble.  On the outside it was a dull brown, with a broken area revealing a uniform red interior – but for some reason, it really struck me and I just couldn’t get rid of it.  Call it instinct.  Other things I picked up and wistfully dreamed of working with ended up dumped because I just hadn’t the technology, but this one lingered.  It ended up in the rather chaotic garden of my old family home for a while, almost lost and buried.  But fortunately not quite.

And then I bought my polishing machine.  Of course, I was still without a saw, so I was still limited.  But this stone was still pricking at me!  I picked it up out of the garden one day, washed the mud off, brought it to London and just decided to see what I could do.  So I powered up my massive polishing wheels and started grinding away at one flattish side of it.  Of course, red was quickly revealed and I watched with interest to see what happened.  I expected to see a uniform interior, but instead patterns began to show up – and flaws – and staining.  And a weird pale shape right through the inside of the stone.  I was astonished to see that it looked like meat – flesh.  Like some curious internal organ.

To cut a (very) long story short, I just kept grinding.  For week after week, whenever I had a few hours, I would let the stone ride the wheel.  And I kept grinding until I had physically ground away so much rock that I had a genuine ‘half’ stone.  And here it is.  I finally managed to get a totally flat surface (the flaws meant that it had a tendency to chip) and a beautiful mirror polish – one of the best I have ever managed.

Now why did I invest SO much time and effort into this?  It is basically a red flint-type rock.  Nothing really unusual about it.  The only answer I have is that it enthralled me – to slowly voyage through that rock and watch what was revealed.  A rock that I had found – and maybe because it was an ordinary pebble and thus so familiar.  And also because it is bloody beautiful!  Its fleshy veined appearance is amazing – the colour as well.  At heart, I am not really a ‘collector’ – I don’t respond to things being ‘rare’ or ‘precious’ (well – not always anyway!) or ‘done in the right way’ – I respond to what I see as beauty, plain and simple.  And for all the rare and unusual and exquisite thundereggs I have bought or polished, this stone has a very special place for me.  It helps remind that beauty can be found in the most ordinary things, if you look.



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