Celebrating Appalachia Videos Chatter and Chitter

Chitter’s Rock Business

chitter holding rocks

Creek rocks Chitter cut and polished

I’ve been wanting to share Chitter’s new enterprise with you since last fall.

If you’re a long time Blind Pig and The Acorn reader you already know about her handmade silver jewelry business Stamey Creek Creations.

Chitter’s been silversmithing for quite a few years now and as any artist does she has honed her craft during that time.

Long time readers will also remember Chitter’s great love for rocks.

In the fall of 2019 Chitter learned how to cut and polish her own rocks instead of buying stones for her silver creations.

After a year of saving up her money she purchased lapidary equipment last fall and set to cutting rocks.

Her jewelry business really took off during 2020 and once she started putting the stones she cut and polished out there they took off too.

In January she was able to quit her job and is now a full time silversmith and lapidary artist.

In this video you can hear Chitter’s rock story straight from her mouth 🙂 and see the entire process from finding creek rocks to cutting and polishing them.

Along with the creek rocks, Katie also cuts rocks she purchases from other areas of the country and world. I’m telling you the girl knows more about rocks than I can wrap my head around!

If you’re interested in seeing Katie’s work you can check out these links:

Etsy
Instagram
Instagram

Tipper

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    April 2, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Katie, you’re a teacher. You have taught me something about a skill and an art about which I knew next to nothing. Thank you, and good luck with your business.
    A quick rock story of another sort: When we lived in Oconee County, SC, our family often fished in the Chauga and Chattooga rivers. Over the years, my mom collected quite a number of smooth river rocks of various sizes. When my parents later moved to Florida, the rocks went with them, and Mom arranged them in a flower bed/rock garden on the front lawn. One day she noticed that some of her rocks were missing. Others soon disappeared. Believe it or not, someone eventually got them all except for a few small ones Mom took indoors!

  • Reply
    Allison B
    April 2, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    Exciting and Interesting… loved watching. Love rocks, silver, etc… creeks, making things… love the work you’re doing!

  • Reply
    SusieQ
    April 2, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    Wow ! I loved the video too … such a wealth of development in her gifting ,talent, passion, and purpose…. determined and perserving ….felt like I was in a college class with a great teacher

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 2, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    Congratulations Katie! That was a wonderful information interview. You were the kid that was always pocking up rocks and putting them in your pockets. Now just look at what you are doing with all those rocks.
    Wonderful interview and very talented girl!
    Hey everybody, that’s my Granddaughter!

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney Jr
    April 2, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    Katie the lapidarist. Your creativity is obvious. A hobby that turns into a profession is never a job!
    You rock, girl!

  • Reply
    harry adams
    April 2, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    I wish you were close enough to walk my creek. It is at one point 70 feet wide with nothing in it most of the year but creek rocks– Glacial Moraine left from thousands of years ago. The creek is called Dry Creek because it is usually dry in August and only 10 feet wide most of the time. Look for 4570 Dry Creek Newark Oh on google earth. Every time it rains hard the stones turn over.

    I picked up a pretty stone yesterday looked at it and said this would be nice polished and then threw it back down. I don’t have the patience to polish.

  • Reply
    Roger Greene
    April 2, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    Good job young lady. Impressive and beautiful work. However a little advice from someone with eight fingers and one and a half thumbs from a moment of carelessness with a table saw, always stay just a little bit afraid of power equipment. A fraction of a second of distraction and a 1/16th inch mistake can lead to long evening at the ER and surgical suit!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 2, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    Call them rocks and they are almost worthless.
    Call them stones and they gain some value.
    Call them semi-precious stones and they are worth even more.
    Call them gemstones and they become valuable.
    Diamonds, Rubies, Emeralds and Sapphires, they’re all rocks until they are picked out, picked up and polished. Even a priceless pearl is nothing more than a pimple on the inside of an oyster shell. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

  • Reply
    dee
    April 2, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Katie, that was a very informative video. Maybe 10 years ago my husband and I traveled all over the West and we stopped at some Rock Park in Arizona. They said you could find gems in the wash out areas that had washed down from the mountain. Never in my life had I thought I could enjoy walking bent over looking at rocks, but I became a “rock lover” really fast. My dear husband was so patient he just waited while I hunted for over an hour looking for special rocks. Then I took them into the Center to ask an expert what I had found. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any diamonds or rubies but I didn’t care cause to me I sure had some beautiful rocks. I had no idea that there was all that work involved in creating a setting for jewelry. Thanks for all the information you shared.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 2, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    Have y’all ever gone over to Chunky Gal Mountain looking for rocks. Cowan Wikle was my 8th eighth grade teacher and principal of Almond Elementary School. He was a self described “rock hound”. He brought gemstones he had collected to school to pass around and show the students. He told us where he had found the stones but the only place name I remember is Chunky Gal. Chunky Gal Mountain is up past Shooting Creek near the Appalachian Trail and not too far from Standing Indian. Mr. Wikle found rubies and sapphires there I know for sure. I think maybe emerald too.
    When Mr. Wikle retired from teaching he worked in his lapidary shop just off of 74 on 28 South at Lauada until he died in 1999. His daughter ran the shop after that for a while. I think it is a pottery shop now.

    • Reply
      Tipper
      April 2, 2021 at 5:21 pm

      Ed-we have went to Chunky Gal rock hunting. Its been several years back but Katie found some good ones!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    April 2, 2021 at 11:47 am

    I knew a man in Georgia that was constantly selling something or other. He collected items all over, cleaned and repaired them and sold them. It was said about him that he could sell a stick to someone who owned 40 acres of trees and had a woodpile taller than his house. A girl that can sell rocks is in that same category, I guess.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    April 2, 2021 at 11:32 am

    Loved the video. I never realized how much work went into such a small stone. Congratulations Katie. Keep loving your work.

  • Reply
    Charles R. Perry, Sr.
    April 2, 2021 at 11:31 am

    Great video. I would like to see one showing her creations.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    April 2, 2021 at 11:10 am

    So very interesting! And how wonderful that Katie has progressed step by step
    from dabbling in the creek with her childhood playmates to forming the creek
    rocks into exquisite jewelry!

  • Reply
    Gigi
    April 2, 2021 at 10:37 am

    That’s was fascinating! You don’t realize how much work goes into making a rock look so good. The finished product and that someone will be wearing that. Great job! You make beautiful things.

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    April 2, 2021 at 10:30 am

    This video makes me appreciate her jewelry even more. I have several pieces, as do my daughters. Other jewelry is boring, compared to hers. When I was a kid, I thought I would find a valuable rock in the driveway, but it was all crushed granite. I have found some interesting rocks where we camp.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 2, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Do I ever recognize that seek and find treasure hunt looking mind. Works with ginseng, goldenseal, arrowheads, animal tracks, wildflowers and so on and so on. That’s me to. I never stop looking and thinking about what I’m seeing. And I know I miss more than I find.

    I wonder. Can you get any Murphy blue marble to work with? Sounds at least like it would be a good match with silver. Once, many years ago now, I was in some of those pink marble quarries at Strawberry Plains, TN. The dry quarries would have rough blocks of marble that for whatever reason were never hauled away.

    Chitter, you might be interested to know a story our pastor told. He used to haul rough blocks of stone to a stone cutter, an old man who had been doing that a long time. Before he would accept a stone he would have someone tap it lightly on one side while he listened on the other. he would circle the whole stone. If he heard a dull sound he would reject it because he knew it had a hidden flaw inside.

    Thanks for your story and congratulations on turning a childhood passion into a business. I think probably all of us reveal our gifts in some way but we are often not so good in seeing them in ourselves. Those who do are, I think, the most contented people.

  • Reply
    Sallie the apple doll lady
    April 2, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Wow! So interesting that she can take a love of childhood and develop such a talent as an adult. Thanks for sharing the process as well. And so special that it’s all done where she grew up.

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    April 2, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Katie rocks! And Momma Tipper isn’t a bad interviewer either. Katie, as I’m sure you’ve already learned, your passion can fuel you to reach new heights. Congratulations!

  • Reply
    JimK
    April 2, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Never knew the work and knowledge needed to turn them into gems. Whatever she earns is well deserved.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    April 2, 2021 at 9:30 am

    I have always heard if you love your work you never have to actually work a day in your life. I had always heard also if you don’t use your talents you lose them. She is an example of not letting talent go to waste. I was always interested in how she did this. I love her dedication to her craft.

  • Reply
    Doug Bishop
    April 2, 2021 at 8:29 am

    See! you really can make a living with a box of rocks !

  • Reply
    Margie G
    April 2, 2021 at 8:07 am

    The whole video had me mesmerized!!!! I think the Katie’s whole story from finding her passion of rocks as a little child and keeping the interest to grow a nice business while doing something she loved is just wonderful!!! I think her knowledge of rocks is astounding. I never tire of hearing what you hillbillies are up to down in the Crackalacki! I too like rocks and collecting them although I don’t do it anymore. I wish you all the success in the world, young lady!!! You’re a very captivating storyteller too, Katie!

  • Reply
    Leon Pantenburg
    April 2, 2021 at 7:06 am

    Way to go! It’s wonderful to see someone doing well while doing their dream job! (I think we both know something about that!) Like Chitter, I love walking creeks and looking for rocks. I use most of mine for flint and steel firemaking or to knap for flints in my flintlock rifle.
    If you ever get to Vicksburg, I’d love to take you creek walking.
    Leon

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