Hobby show draws big crowd to Kingaroy
YOU never know what you will come across at the Nanango Country Markets.
It was there that Wattle Camp resident Neville Wright met a fella cutting opals, and became fascinated by the hobby.
Fast forward 10 years and Mr Wright is now the president of the South Burnett Gem and Fossicking Club.
"I love the different variety and not knowing what is going to be inside the rock when you cut it, it is the mystery,” he said.
"You can pick up something that looks plain and ugly on the outside and then cut it and it could have a crystal pattern on the inside.”
The club hosted its first show at the Kingaroy Showgrounds at the weekend, attracting hobbyists and traders from as far away as Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
"From the word go, I said once we get established enough that we would hold a gem show,” Mr Wright said.
"It was an unknown because we have never done it before, but all the traders are really happy with the turnout.”
Mr Wright said the funds from the show would go back into the club to create more opportunities for its 44 members.
"It helps to boost our finances so we can upgrade machinery and equipment,” he said.
"We are looking at doing a course in silversmithing so the members can learn how to make their own jewellery.”
The gem-cutting hobby has taken Mr Wright across the country - to Central Queensland and to Western Australia - collecting rocks.
The club meets for workshops twice a week in Kingaroy.