Alan's cut-rock lamp shades are created from rock that is translucent and offers a unique quality of lighting with a display of the natural patterns in the rock. The variety of rock used in lamps include agate, opal, obsidian, quartz and mariposite, onyx, petrified wood, and cave marble (travertine).
Most rock is not translucent, therefore finding those that have a translucent quality is the first challenge in the making of a rock lamp. Many rocks are collected in order to find the translucent quality needed for lamps and require the cutting of sample slices.
Alan and his wife collect rocks in the field or purchase them from rock shops, if it is unavailable on public lands and the only source is a mining claim where it is mined and sold commercially. Each shade is designed to display the natural rock patterns and to carry the continuity of the patterns or fabric throughout the entire shade. Lamp bases are constructed from sculpted wood or drill steel and bits that were previously used in the Altaville Gold Mine in Calaveras County, California.