Established lapidary (semi-precious stone shaping and polishing) artist making functional stone pieces. Ask me anything!

Nov 14, 2017

What do you want to know about how to make lapidary art or functional art? Also, I can answer some questions about rockhounding (finding semi-precious stones).

Check out my Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1780839476/custom-stopper-made-from-your-meaningful-stone

or my regular website with lots of functional stone items for inspiration: www.lifeenthusiasm.net

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Do you keep the first thing you ever made of stone?

Nov 21, 6:42AM EST0

What is your favourite stone and why?

Nov 19, 12:05AM EST0

Where do you get your inspiration?

Nov 18, 2:09PM EST0

What is the piece you most enjoyed making?

Nov 18, 5:17AM EST0

How long have you been doing this for?

Nov 17, 5:01PM EST0

Have you also worked with precious stones?

Nov 17, 9:00AM EST0

Do you get supplies locally or outsource them?

Nov 15, 8:41AM EST0

How much is the average price for the pieces you make?

Nov 15, 7:47AM EST0

Have you ever made a tomb stone?

Nov 14, 9:31PM EST0

What is the difference between semi-precious stones and precious stones apart from rarity and therefore price?

Nov 14, 8:18PM EST0

What inspired you to start working on this project?

Nov 14, 1:48PM EST0

I was curious to see what the interest might be in such a project and the “collaborative” category was being pushed by Kickstarter at the same time so I thought I would put up the project.

Nov 14, 5:49PM EST0

Why do you say functional? What is their function?

Nov 14, 11:49AM EST0

Functional to me means any art that has a function beyond just looking pretty on a wall or on a necklace. With that said I do make art where the function is limited to the visual (wall hangings, pendants, rings, etc.) but, I prefer to create items that have a function additional and separate from the art like kitchen knives, wine stoppers, men’s dress belts, vases, and classic car shift knobs just to name a few.

Nov 14, 5:47PM EST0

Did you study something to be able to do this or it is something you developed yourself?

Nov 14, 10:39AM EST0

I like exploring a media so I try to learn the basics from the experts and then intentionally avoid looking too much into different people’s styles so I can try to develop my own or try something different that others may not have thought of or tried before.

Nov 14, 5:43PM EST0

Your art is very interesting, Jalal! How tough is it to set up a crowdfunding campaign? Also, can you share more pictures of your works? 

Nov 14, 9:25AM EST0

It is easy to setup a crowdfunding campaign, as all you just need to do is write up a bit about what you are doing, take some pictures/videos, and set prices. The challenge is more on driving traffic to your campaign and getting people excited about it.

Nov 14, 5:41PM EST0

Also, you can see more pictures of my work on my website at lifeenthusiasm.net

Nov 14, 5:49PM EST0

Where are you from?

Nov 11, 8:31PM EST0

All over. I have lived on the West Coast, Midwest, East Coast and South. In each location I lived multiple years so I got a full “local” experience of the place.

Nov 14, 5:40PM EST0

What role does the artist have in society?

Nov 10, 7:53PM EST0

I believe artists are recorders of history and culture. Also, at a deeper level the creativity inspired or as a result of an artistic bent helps us create new amazing ideas and things.

Nov 14, 5:38PM EST0

What themes do you pursue?

Nov 10, 4:09PM EST0

My biggest theme is functional art. I do appreciate art that is just for viewing but I prefer to create art that people can hold and use. That gives the art more purpose and creates greater joy to the owner/user.

Nov 14, 5:36PM EST0

Did you go to school for this?

Nov 10, 12:11PM EST0

I started out going to school for it but then got a degree that provided the financial capital to enjoy working on my art outside of my 9 - 5 job.

Nov 14, 5:34PM EST0

Who is your favorite Artist?

Nov 10, 10:57AM EST0

Even though I mostly make 3D pieces my favorite artist is actually a painter; John Singer Sargent. His use of color to bring light and depth into his pieces really speaks to me.

Nov 10, 11:59AM EST0

Is your work showcased in a museum?

Nov 10, 8:19AM EST0

Not yet, but I hope someday! It is featured in smaller galleries and organizations like the San Francisco Gem and Mineral Society.

Nov 10, 12:00PM EST0

What inspires you the most?

Nov 10, 8:17AM EST0

The amazing beauty and variation that nature can produce. It is so inspiring to shape and work a stone into a final piece that you know took millions of years to form or are a representational mix of the organic and inorganic - such as in agatized dinosaur bone. 

Nov 10, 12:03PM EST0

Do you have a special place to get inspired?

Nov 10, 5:40AM EST0

Whenever I am out rockhounding (searching for semi-precious stones) I get inspired. It dosen't hurt that these places are usually out in the middle of nowhere with nobody around for miles and a chance to think deeply without cell service.

Nov 10, 12:07PM EST0

Do you listen to music when you work?

Nov 10, 5:11AM EST0

I try to be an efficient person and I love learning so, I actually multi-task and listen to non-fiction books on my headphones while I work. If I really get into the zone and it is some complex book on biology or astrophysics philosophy, like “Aliens: The World’s Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life” edited by Jim Al-Khalili, I may need to rewind a few times but it allows my hands the freedom of movement. I can do both because I usually see the final piece in my head before I start carving the rock and then just need to let my hands do the work.

Nov 10, 12:16PM EST0

How do you motivate younger artists?

Nov 10, 3:25AM EST0

I find out what inspires them and then try to show them all the amazing opportunities to explore art in that area of interest. I also push them to try to do things they normally would not approach. You can always fall back to the safe but, that is not what I think art is about. Art is about always exploring and creating something that wows people and makes them think or see things differently.

Nov 10, 12:19PM EST0

How long have you been working in this field?

Nov 10, 2:40AM EST0

I have been doing lapidary work for the last 3 years but I have been an artist since I was a young child experimenting with all types of media. Whatever media I am into I throw myself into exploring it and the related techniques until I feel comfortable - then I try to think about it differently and see what I can create that is interesting and inspiring.

Nov 10, 12:24PM EST0

What’s your background?

Nov 10, 2:38AM EST0

I have been doing lapidary work for the last 3 years but I have been an artist since I was a young child experimenting with all types of media. Whatever media I am into I throw myself into exploring it and the related techniques until I feel comfortable - then I try to think about it differently and see what I can create that is interesting and inspiring.

Nov 14, 5:33PM EST0

Do you sell your pieces?

Nov 9, 11:55PM EST0

I do sell them on Etsy and at different shows around San Francisco but for me the joy is more in creating the art and exploring it, which is why I decided to get a business degree. That way I did not have to rely on my art to eat and have a place to sleep.

Nov 10, 12:29PM EST0

Where do you collect these from?

Nov 9, 11:54PM EST0

California, Nevada and Oregon all have amazing deposits of semi-precious stones. Most of the best places are about a 7 hour or so drive from where I live which makes me very lucky. I try to keep my explorations to about once every two months so my garage does not completely fill with cool rocks.

Nov 10, 12:31PM EST0

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

Nov 9, 7:46PM EST0

A passion for creating something interesting out of something else. I think it also helps to have a very clear message or purpose for the art. Hanging something beautiful on the wall is great but, that is only one dimension of art. There are so many more things that art can do.

Nov 10, 12:33PM EST0
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