Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Del Air Rockhounds Club Welcomes You!!

The Del Air Rockhounds Club was founded in 1954 with members mostly residing in the San Fernando Valley area of California. Our club is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing knowledge of the lapidary arts and techniques, geology, mineralogy and related fields. We own our own lapidary equipment with members available to teach and demonstrate lapidary techniques to other members. Our members enjoy lapidary related programs, demonstrations, exhibitions, displays and lectures. We also take monthly field trips to our local deserts & mountains for exploration and the study and collection of lapidary and mineral specimens.

Member of the California & American Federation of Mineralogical Societies

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7618, Van Nuys, CA 91409 - Phone # 818-439-0217

April 2024 Del Air Calendar of Events

Thursday April 4: General Meeting                                                                                                            7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at Northridge United Methodist Church

Friday April 12: Vintage Magnet STEAM Night 

Saturday April 13: Del Air Shop Day

Thursday April 18: Board Meeting                                                         

Fri, Sat, Sun, April 19, 20, 21: Conejo Gem & Mineral Show

Monday April 22: Passover Begins

Tuesday April 23: Andasol Elementary STEAM Night

Saturday April 27: DWP Earth Day


April's General Meeting Program

'Generalized Mineral Identification'                                                                                                        Presented by Bob Dearborn & Bob Knox

Our club recently participated in a "rock swap" with a club from Riverton, Wyoming. A "rock swap" basically means we sent a box of California rocks to them and they sent a box of Wyoming rocks to us. This month, at our general meeting, the two Bobs will show us how to identify these rocks utilizing some of the basic mineral identification techniques available today. If any of the membership would like to own any of these Wyoming specimens then make sure you attend our May meeting where these specimens will be available via a special silent auction.


Upcoming May 2024 Field Trip Teaser - Save the Date! Saturday May 18, 2024 - 10:00 am

Join us for our annual field trip to Wrightwood, CA for actinolite, garnet in schist and possibly even lepidolite. We will be doing our usual potluck lunch and Shellie Van Winkle has once again volunteered the use of her vacation home as our staging location which is just steps away from the collecting area. More detailed information in the May bulletin. So… Save That Date!


Club Display Case @ AFMS/CFMS/VGMS Annual Show in May 

The Del Air club will be installing a display case at the annual show and convention at the Ventura Fairgrounds May 24th thru the 27th. It will be a non competitive entry showcasing our club and the lapidary items we have created at our various shop days, wire wrapping and chain mail classes, etc. We are asking all members to loan a lapidary item or two that you created, cut, polished or assembled while a member of the club to the board for possible inclusion in the case. We are looking for 12 to 14 items for inclusion in the case depending on size. It could be a polished specimen, a jewelry item or any type of rock related handicraft.  Please bring your loan items to the May 2024 meeting labeled with a brief explanation of the item and your name & phone number. All items will be returned to members at our June meeting. This is great exposure for our club to AFMS/CFMS members from around our state and the entire country.



As you all know, our club is trying to schedule a quarterly project for our members to participate in. Something to learn about or make or think about. This quarter, Maxine Dearborn led a class on making CHAIN MAIL JEWELRY. She had everything set up with instructions and as the jump ring necklaces were starting to be put together we began to hear “DARN” these rings are really small or OOOPS I just put that ring in the wrong place or BOY this is a challenge! But, parts of the necklace did get done and a couple finished necklaces went home. Others took their incomplete project home to finish. Everyone agreed it was a challenge but fun. I don't think anyone would want to make a full suit of chain mail armor because it would take years! We hope to see more club members on our next quarterly project.


***June 2024 General Meeting Teaser***

Our June meeting topic will be "What's Your Other Hobby". We ask all members to participate by bringing in and sharing with the group something that you collect or are passionate about outside the realm of rocks or lapidary. This is a great way for all of us to learn something more about each other. So think about what it is you'd like to share and bring it to our general meeting in June.


Monday, February 19, 2024

March 2024 Del Air Calendar of Events

Thursday March 7: General Meeting                                                                                                          7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at Northridge United Methodist Church                                    

Sunday March 10: Daylight Savings Time Begins

Sunday March 17: St Patrick's Day

Thursday March 21: Board Meeting At the Dearborn's Home

Saturday March 23: Chainmail Jewelry Making Class                                                                                  At Maxine Dearborn's home - See article

Sunday March 31: Easter Sunday


March's General Meeting Program:

"Rocks & Crocs" Some Lesser Known Geological Features in Australia                                          Presented by Dick & Mary Pat Weber

I am happy to report that Dick Weber is much better and back to his usual self so please come join us at our March 2024 meeting where Dick & Mary Pat Weber have been rescheduled, and will present to us, a tantalizing look at some of the lesser known but still spectacular, geological and paleontological features throughout Australia. Everyone knows about the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock but there are so many more features that are equally impressive but known to only a select few. Hope to see you all there.


Aileen's Creative Corner - Crafting with Gemstones

This month, Aileen will be talking about crafting with gemstones. She uses Labradorite, Tourmaline, Amethyst, Unakite, Tigers Eye and Agates. These are just a few and there are many, many more. She will use whatever feels or looks good to her. She'll show you some of the things she has created and explain how you, too, can easily create beautiful and fun things out of the loose or extra gemstones from your collection.



On January 27th our club gathered together at Refugio Beach State Park in Santa Barbara, under the guidance of president & field trip chairman, Jeff Dengrove. It was a great, sunny day for the 11 of us and 3 guests who went looking for this special rock. The high tides of the last few weeks undercut the banks and delivered a lot more rock to the area. Members who braved the tide while we were there found fossil whale bones and more interesting rocks that will be displayed at our club meetings. The local islands looked like you could hit them with one of the rocks you didn’t want to keep. We had a great day, took      in a lot of fresh air and brought home a couple neat rocks too!



 Our education group had another fun evening talking to students and their parents at Stanley Mosk Elementary school's STEM NIGHT event. This was a new school for us and, BOY, were we busy with happy faces. We had our volcano display to talk about and with such a crowd most of the time we had two free games going. Our spin-a-wheel never stopped going and even broke the clicker, which had to be replaced mid-evening. We had lots of rock questions and some even brought their own rocks to be identified. Fun, fun, fun. Members attending for this 3 hour event were: Shellie Van Winkle, Bernadette Friedman, Pam Abbott, Bob Knox and Bob & Maxine Dearborn.


Friday, January 26, 2024

February 2024 Del Air Calendar of Events

Thursday February 1: General Meeting 7:30 pm in our regular meeting room @ NUMC

Wednesday February 14: Valentine's Day

Thursday February 15: Board Meeting

Friday February 16: Stanley Mosk Science Night

Monday February 19: President's Day

Friday February 23: Chatsworth Park Starry Starry Night

Saturday February 24: Shop Day


February 2024 General Meeting

Pipe Stone; Presented by Bob Dearborn

Geologically, pipestone is a claystone (argillite). Its scientific name is catlinite (named after George Catlin). The red color results from oxidation of trace amounts of iron (hematite). The pipestone formation began over 1.5 billion years ago when a braided river covered what is now southwest Minnesota. The pipestone quarries have been visited for centuries by American Indians to acquire the red pipestone used to craft pipebowls for their sacred ceremonial pipes. This month, Bob Dearborn will show us this wondrous stone and explain how American Indians accomplished this arduous task.


A Special Silent Auction

The Del Air Rockhounds Club was fortunate enough to have recently acquired a collection of high end crystal and mineral specimens generously donated to the club by a very nice lady named Taryn from Rancho Cascades, CA. The Board has made the decision to offer these specimens for sale to the membership at a special silent auction at our February meeting. There will be 15 or so very beautiful and unique specimens up for auction. There will only be one auction this time and all items will have a pre-assigned starting bid. So bring your checkbooks and be ready to add that special high end specimen to your own collection.


Del Air Shop Day                                                                  

Saturday February 24, 2024 - 10 am to 4 pm @ Jeff Dengrove's Home.         

The Del Air Club has scheduled our first SHOP DAY for 2024. As usual, it will take place at Jeff Dengrove's home on Saturday February 24 from 10 am to 4 pm. We can accommodate only 10 people at this event. Due to liability and insurance issues, this event is open to paid members only. I will notify each respondent regarding the status of their request to attend and will send out a blast email reminder to the membership a time or two prior to the date of the event advising of any openings or cancellations.


Thursday, December 28, 2023

January 2024 Del Air Rockhounds Calendar of Events

Thursday January 4: General Meeting                                                                                                          7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at Northridge United Methodist Church

Monday January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Thursday January 18: Starry Starry Night Event- Tarzana Elementary School

Thursday January 25: Board Meeting 7:30 pm at Shellie Van Winkle's home

Saturday January 27: Annual Whale Bone Field Trip


January 2024 General Meeting Program                                                                                                    'Rock & Crocs' Some Lesser Known Geological Features in Australia                                                      Presented by Dick & Mary Pat Weber

Come join us for our first meeting of the new year where Dick & Mary Pat Weber will present a tantalizing look at some of the lesser known, but still spectacular, geological and paleontological features throughout Australia. Everyone knows about the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock but there are so many more features that are equally impressive but known to only a select few. Hope to see you all there. 


The Rockhound Dennis Miller Show

Dennis will be presenting a new feature throughout 2024…The 'Rock of the Month'. Each month we will select a rock of the month and Dennis will educate us on its properties, characteristics and possible uses. All members are urged to bring in any specimens they have of the rock of the month to help highlight this new feature and to share with members and guests. 

January 2024 'Rock of the Month'

In honor of our annual whale bone trip to Refugio Beach this month, January's rock of the month will be Whale Bone. Bring in your samples for all to see and marvel over.


Del Air Shop Day Recap         

The Del Air Club had another SHOP DAY, thanks to Jeff Dengrove. We had a good group all doing rock stuff. Chris Ward brought his commercial pearl drill and everyone attending made a set of pearl earrings. Very cool, and very easy. Other members drilled holes in rock slabs, hearts and more to make interesting pendants for necklaces. Most also used the club equipment to cut rocks, polish cabs, polish special specimens and the start of bookends. We all had a very good day and walked away with a finished project. More SHOP DAYS will be coming up, watch your bulletin and sign up early. We can only handle 10 members at a time on these days. You haven’t attended a SHOP DAY? Well, remember, we have instructors present to help you with your project.


Santa Came Early to Chatsworth

Santa was in his annual Chatsworth Parade and the Del Air Club had our educational booth to help celebrate with 100’s of people. We were worried about the wind, but it turned out to be a perfect December day, in the 70’s. We were there from 9 am (set up time) to 5 pm (take down). Chris Ward played educational games with the children and adults. Bob Knox talked to all about the many great touch and feel rocks. Shellie Van Winkle was spinning our wheel and handed out many prizes. Bob Dearborn tried to sell our different boutique items, but not many takers. Jeff Dengrove and Maxine Dearborn bounced from station to station to do what was needed, talking to people about our rocks, club, and special items for sale. Steven and Coriolis Koch came by to help at our booth during their break at the Boy Scout booth they were running. We all talked about rock and club topics. It was a good day. We were tired at the end. And we hope we made some good contacts for educational talks and membership. 


Annual Del Air Whale Bone Field Trip                                                                                                Saturday January 27, 2024 - 10:00 am - Refugio Beach

It's time, once again, for our annual whale bone field trip to Refugio Beach in Santa Barbara, CA. We will meet up at 10:00 am at the Refugio Beach parking lot. Look for the red and blue Del Air car flags. Dress in layers as the weather can be cool in the shade and a bit warmer in the sunshine. Bring your own picnic lunch (not a potluck) and drinks as well as a bucket or bag to bring your finds home in. Take the Ventura Fwy (101 north) about 100 miles to the Refugio Beach off ramp. Parking is $10 and is good all day at all state beaches if you'd like to check out nearby El Capitan & Gaviota beaches. You won't have to pay additional parking. This is always a popular and well attended club field trip. President and Field Trip Chair, Jeff Dengrove, will be there to show you what to look for. In addition to fossil whale bone, there are many other beautiful rocks to collect including beach agates and San Franciscan Shale. You may even find fossil horse teeth that have washed down to the beach from the nearby mountains. If you have never attended this event, try to attend this time. You won't regret it. Refugio is a beautiful and peaceful place that you all should take the time to visit. 


Congratulations to our 2024 Board of Directors

President: Jeff Dengrove                                                                                                                              Vice President: Aileen Beckers                                                                                                                      2nd Vice President: Dan Farber                                                                                                                Secretary: Bob Dearborn                                                                                                                      Treasurer: Shellie Van Winkle                                                                                                                       Federation Director: Bob Knox                                     

Voted in unanimously by the membership at our December 2023 Holiday Party.