Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Bangkok part 2 - Lambert Industries

We seem to be taking it in turns to have a headache and to be feeling rubbish, yesterday was B’s turn, we assume it’s just the heat and humidity as after a good nights sleep and a slightly cooler day today we’ve been out and about and still feel fine.

Jackie has the stones she found inspected
We set off to Lambert Industries, the company recommended by the lady at Armfest where I did my original sapphire fossicking in the town of Sapphire in Queensland, Australia. She had said to send the stones off, as they didn’t like guests, however as we were coming to Bangkok it seemed odd, so I emailed and they were happy for a visit. Having found our way on the skytrain we were welcomed by an American man, Eric Forbes who owns the company and a Swiss(?) lady, not what I expected, but hey. 

In the workshop, polishing (phase 1)
They passed us over to the Thai man who had replied to my email who counted the stones and gave us a tour of the premises. There were only two people currently working, doing the initial cutting, and polishing, with three more elsewhere doing the fine faceting. No laser cutting here, all done by hand and eye to maximise what each stone has, all for US$2.25 a stone! It will be really interesting to see how many cut sapphires, zircons and garnets they can make from the mixture of 42 glassy stones I found in a pile of rocks! It’s really exciting, next step will be to decide if I have some jewellery made here, or back at home, or just keep them in a box?

Phase 2, rough cutting

Work in progress. The stones are stuck to wax on the end of a rod
This is the final cutting machine (not being used when we were there) The stone, wax and rod is placed in the tool with the wooden handle, seen resting upright on the right and another hanging on the left column. The central wheel spins and the tool assembly pressed by hand to cut the face
Jackie outside the factory

Interesting sweets of jelly. we tried a purple one on the left
We then headed off to the railway station to buy our tickets for the day after tomorrow as we head out of Bangkok towards the south. First stop Phetchaburi! We deviated via a small market where they were selling many things, including cubes of jelly? We tried one at 5Baht, it was ok, not sure I’d rave about it but it was purple and white stripes so had to be given a go! A bit of gentle drifting brought us back to the hotel for iced coffee just before the rain, so that’s the second time we’ve made it back just before the downpour! Can we continue to be so lucky for the next 9 weeks?

Waiting for the subway. The railway line is isolated by glass, doors opening after the train has stopped in the correct position. It's clean, tidy and no rush of air as the train approaches. London underground could learn a thing or two from this!
I've got two things to add: The first is that our blog is now in the Thai language, so I can only post this by knowing which buttons to press, I understand nothing! Its not in our alphabet or Chinese characters its something entirely different. Here's another picture with the caption prompt that says something like 'enter your text here':
Its all a bit of a problem, so its a good job we've done a few of these otherwise we'd be sunk!

The other thing is, we haven't written anything about the Atlanta hotel we're staying at, which Jackie specially picked originally as it has resident cats and turtles, as we've been here before and written a blog entry about it. The link to it ( if you'd like to read about it) is: http://brianandjackiecross.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/and-finallyat-least-from-thailand.html

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