Helene sent me a couple of pieces of psilomelane as I'd mentioned wanting to try it out in reply to lithic beads' (other Frank) suggestion for use as the blade.
She also sent me a bunch of other material. This was about the awesome thing I've gotten in the mail in a very long time - if this material is Helene's scrap (and even if it's her mainstock) I can see why she's such a high class artist (have you looked some of her pieces! I mean seriously - !!). Talk about good rock pickin' - thanks yet again Helene!
Speaking of which, check out her web site: pottery by Helene
/ check under 'products' if your jaw needs stretching. I don't like plugging people but this is different, everyone should at least SEE this woman's work; it's breathtaking and inspiring.
Anyway, I think Frank hit a homer with this idea. I still haven't tried working it yet but this stuff looks even better in the flesh than in pictures and talk about a super cool mini damascus effect it would have on a small blade - wow! Now to see if I can find a thick piece of quality that won't force me to sell the kids. Thanks Frank!