Raw (left side) vs polished (on the right side).
Rough vs shiny.

A few years ago, when visiting Denmark, I was obsessed with the many rocks one can find on the wonderful sandy beaches. Back then I didn’t have a tumbler but I just knew that one day I would be polishing some rocks. Guess that pandemics are a great time to start a new at-home-hobby like tumbling rocks, gemstones and slagstone.

From the overview, it might be hard to see the incredible change- also because I didn’t photograph the rocks before tumbling them so I can’t compare like a real before and after.
Unlike stones you might find in a forest, those at beaches are often already rounder and soften as the movement of the sea works like a giant tumbler already- the only thing it doesn’t have is polishing powder.
While not all stones will shine like a mirror, the general idea is that the end result might be similar to how they would look when wet. Often people are a bit disappointed when a beautiful beach rock looks dull the next day- but that’s mostly just because we pick them up when they are wet from the salt water. If you really liked them, polishing is your answer 🙂

Unlike the slag stone, which has to tumble even more than the average rock because of the whimsical shapes, the beach pebbles started at step 2 (of 4) with a more gentle smoothening of the surface.


The question that I’m asked the most is: “What are you’re going to do with the rocks?”
A clear answer I cannot provide.
– I collect and polish them just for fun. I like rocks, I like transformations. I love strolling through the woods or along the shoreline and look for treasures. I’m curious and it makes me happy.
– It’s a nice way to also learn about our earth and geology.
– The patterns, shapes, colors, and textures inspire me so they might influence my work.
– I might try to make a few pendants out of the slag stone or quartz, but not the pebbles.
– Some of the rocks are just nice to hold and feel. Sometimes I’m just fiddling with them while thinking about a work thing.

So next up is trying to identify the rocks.
And in my tumbler are now milky quartz that I found in the woods and a tumbling mix that I got from the tumbler’s starter’s package- I did spot some amethyst but for the rest to identify I’ll wait until the full process is done.

In case you’re curious, this is the type of tumbler that I’m using:

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