Ancient craft is alive in Monto
A CRAFT form practised by the ancient Egyptians and Ethiopians is alive and well in the town of Monto.
Monto Lapidary Club had its inaugural open day on October 12, opening its doors to the community in the hope of gaining new members.
The art of polishing and faceting precious stones is a long established trade, having been done across the world for centuries.
For Monto, it has been a standard hobby for close to 40 years, with members originally going to each other's homes before the establishment of the club.
Club treasurer Mary Sharp is hoping to have the open day on an annual basis to raise awareness.
"It's amazing how much talent we have in a small society of 18 members," Ms Sharp said.
The day included a multitude of activities, including rock painting, wire wrapping demonstrations, polishing, faceting and even a treasure hunt.
The club is well known among other clubs in the region, with many members triumphing in competitions across Queensland "year after year".
The club even has its own lapidary superstar by the name of Ron Dunn, who's been crafting stones and winning awards for more than three decades.
Ms Sharp believes the open day has given the community a peek into why this is an interesting and addictive hobby for new members.
"For some it's about the finished product, others it's about wearing it, and others even competing.
"Whatever your reason, you learn a fair bit about geology along the way, as well as experiencing some of the camaraderie."
To join, phone 4166 3696.