Preparing Stones: Cleaning | Using Acid | Drying | Stone Cutting | Developing Patina | Care
After finding stones in nature, the first step is to clean the stone. There are several widely practiced methods of cleaning -- some very simple, and some methods such as acid cleaning, which require important safety considerations.
Cleaning stones on the spotclean with chopsticks
brushes with short hard bristles
wash in water when possible
Since stones are usually soiled when found in nature, you should clean them on the spot:
Cleaning Stones with Acid
For persistent calcareous projections which remain on stone after washing, use hydrochloric or concentrated formic acid, concentrated or diluted. Always follow instructions carefully and completely.never pour water into concentrated acid dilute acid by pouring acid SLOWLY into water while mixing
Drying Your Stones
"Like a sponge."
Although your stone may appear to be solid and impenetrable, wet stones are actually very much like a sponge saturated with water. When drying a stone in an oven for example, you will find that a hot, dry rock will appear damp again, after a period of time. This is because there is still moisture inside the stone. The moisture comes out of the stone the same way it comes out of a sponge, but reaching the surface much more slowly.
Cutting Stones: To Cut or Not To Cut?
Not all viewing stones have flat bottoms...but many do. Flat bottoms are usually a man-made enhancement to a stone, then beautifully displayed upon a custom-created daiza which is carved to conform to the shape of the stone. Cutting often helps "extract" the desired visual classification for specimens, such as mountain stones. For example, one may find an oversized rock which contains an edge which, after close study, reveals a beautiful mountain range. And the best and easiest way to showcase this is to remove the mountain range from the larger stone and display it as a separate entity. [read more]
Developing a Patina
A classic Suiseki characteristically has a beautiful patina, and the silky glow adds to the stone's value. There are several widely accepted methods of bringing out this quality in a stone. [read more]
Once the stone has a patina, you need to maintain it. [read more]
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