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Rock n’ Roll

May 18, 2013

After a day in the field, we stopped by C & E Rock Sales to visit a friend and owner of this local business. C & E Rock Sales specializes in producing prepped and polished fossilized wood which is then sold locally from the shop or sold to external gift shops for public purchase. This first photograph shows only a few of the many carts, tables, and boxes in the shop that are currently filled to the brim with petrified wood specimens ready to be polished.

Fossil wood prior to polishing

Fossil wood prior to polishing

The wood slabs are then cut into all sizes using the cutting machine featured in the second photograph.

Cutting machine

Cutting machine

Next, the wood – in all its various shapes and sizes – is placed in a circular slab of plaster that hardens and holds the wood in place. The plaster slab is placed on this polishing machine (shown below) and the machine rotates the slab, buffering one side of the wood until perfectly shiny and smooth.

Wood cuts ready for polishing

Wood cuts ready for polishing

When this is complete, the slab of plaster is removed and the individual pieces of petrified wood are hammered out – by hand – of the circular encasing. The product is a shiny section of fossil wood, each adorned with different patterns and colors. In fact, the colors are determined by the type of mineralization that occurred during the fossilization of the wood.

Cutting polished wood from plaster slab

Removing polished wood

Polished and cut fossil wood

Cut and polished fossil wood












The final photograph exhibits the finished products;  beautifully colored and skillfully crafted fossil wood ready for you to buy! These are the souvenirs that are most popular in gift shops across the country and it was incredible to see how they are made first-hand. What was even better was to see a bit of Arizona culture and a local business thriving inside and out!

The finished product

The finished products

If you found this interesting, be sure to check out C & E Rock Sales website and additional products:

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