L. Hansen was born in Denmark on August 23, 1894. When he was five years
old, he moved to New York. His family then headed west to Wisconsin. He
left school after the 6th grade and began to work; taking any job that was
available. In 1920, while serving in the Air Force at Wright Air Field near
Dayton, Ohio, he married Loretta Condron. A son Paul was born in 1921. Paul
was later killed during World War II. In 1922, the family moved to Minneapolis,
Minnesota where his second son Bill was born in 1925.
worked as a machinist, welder, sheet metal worker, and jack-of-all-trades
for over 50 years until his retirement in 1949. Always fascinated with the
beautiful agates that could be found at that time, he began tumbling rocks
around 1962. He made all of his own equipment using the many skills in metal
fabrication he had learned. He was an experienced wood carver and gem sculptor
as well as a maker of fine jewelry. After almost twenty years, his house
was cluttered with cabs, faceted stones, spheres, and a large collection
of carved objects. He then decided to create a unique intarsia lampshade.
Finding the right materials was, and still is, a challenge. He traveled
through North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, the Black Hills, Nebraska, through
central South Dakota, back to the North Dakota border, and home, stopping
to collect and purchase the necessary translucent rocks. Another trip through
southern and central Wisconsin provided some more of the needed colors.
The finished lamp was featured in two separate articles and a cover, published
in the "Lapidary Journal".
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