Cheryl  Kasper

Cheryl Kasper grew up in a rockhounding family and first took faceting at Wildacres when she was fifteen. At William Holland, she has taken silversmithing, gem identification, soapstone carving, Lampwork beads, beading, stained glass, casting, chains and opals. Following in her fathers footsteps, Cheryl has a passion for this mysterious and exciting stone. She has been working with opal since about 2001. A true opalholic (and a Libra), she went to the Australian outback in 2007 to mine for opals in Cooper Pedy and Lightning Ridge where she studied opal carving from Daniela LAbbate. She specializes in black opal and fossilized opal.

Class List

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Opals I - Cheryl Kasper
You will learn about various types of opals, how to cut and polish opal, how to read a stone before and during cutting, what makes opal precious, how opal forms, the equipment and supplies used to cut, treatments, care and tips for setting opals, opal evaluation and why opal is such a unique and mysterious gemstone. Opals, books and supplies will be available for purchase. You are invited to bring your own opal, as well. No prior experience is required. Lab fee covers a guide with information about opals, supplemental handouts, access to plenty of free practice opal rough, miscellaneous supplies needed to complete work in class and an opal kit that includes approximately eight pieces of opal rough from around the world, both common (about five pieces) and precious (about two or three pieces) chosen to help you learn during class.

Lab Fee: $70.00
Estimated Materials Cost: $0+
Prerequisites: None

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Opals II - Lightning Ridge Opal - Cheryl Kasper
Opals from Lightning Ridge can be intriguing, complicated and fickle. If you like to think outside the oval and are willing to let the stone reveal its mystery, then this class is for you. Focus will be on Lightning Ridge opals, especially black. We will take a look at the mining process, how the geology of the area can drastically alter opals and how to approach them. We will build knowledge and skill in stone analysis and discovery and discuss basic wheel carving, opals fossils and tips for purchasing rough. Opals of all prices, ranges and types, books and supplies will be available for purchase. Students typically spend $100 to $400 on additional materials to cut in class or take home, but this is not required. You are welcome to bring your own Lightning Ridge material that you find challenging or would like to discuss. Lab fee covers advanced student guide, supplemental handouts, a basic opal fossil specimen, miscellaneous supplies needed to complete work in class and an opal kit that includes five pieces of Lightning Ridge opal rough chosen to help you learn (they will vary in character and value and may include basic barred/pattern potch, crystal, knobby, picture stone, and grey/black with color)

Lab Fee: $70.00
Estimated Materials Cost: $0-$400+
Prerequisites: Opals I

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Opals III - Opal Carving - Cheryl Kasper
We will focus on removing the problem areas from Lightning Ridge material and revealing the beauty hidden underneath. Working with the Pixie and wheel carving, we will expand to a finer level of detail with the micromotor/flexshaft and other carving tools. Lab fee includes two opals to carve and the use of instructors carving equipment.

Lab Fee: $100.00
Estimated Materials Cost: $40+
Prerequisites: Opal II Lightning Ridge from Cheryl Kasper or permission of instructor

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