First you’ve got to collect. This summer the site of the pebble collection was the Gower peninsula in south Wales – the beaches in and around Rossilli. The collection site looked a bit like this:
Generally, pebble surface has to be smooth and the shape regular. Having said that, irregular shapes can also be interesting, if more tricky to decoupage. The pebble has to be cleaned before using and let to dry thoroughly.
If I'm doing one of my Literary Pebble Paperweights I use antique paper which comes currently from the margins of a second-hand 19th-century book I was given (it was printed in 1894 and I love the off-white yellowing tones of the old paper). This is part of my stash:
The pencil that is selected is drawn upon using one of my favourite pencils: Palomino Blackwing.
A piece of antique paper is positioned on the pebble...
and cut to size by hand.
It is important that the Palomino Blackwing is sharpened to perfection as it has a soft point. I use a KUM long point sharpener or my new favourite Staedtler.
I'll probably need glasses soon but for the time being I can manage writing in small print...
Some coordination is needed when placing the pencil on the handwritten paper. The pencil cut-out is placed so as not to cover the writing or it is written on after the paper has been partially glued.
After gluing and varnishing a finished pebble paperweight can look like this:
This one is now on Inklinks - it features a California Republic Palomino, a Palomino Blackwing, a Berol Mirado and a quote from Henry Petroski's The Pencil.