07-29. Gypsum #7.

Gypsum symmetry makes for inspiring patterns.This structure is also what allows it to grow from pebble to Naica caves skyscraper-size crystals without breaking. Simple but very effective!

From a resource by Comodi, Nazzareni, Zanazzi, and Speziale.



07-27. Gypsum #5.

Gypsum is the most challenging mineral I worked on so far – color wise!

Its crystal has a pleasant well-organized geometry, and a dynamic symmetry – but either black and white or color, no hue seems to hit the right tone. Almost there – but never really vibrating like so many other minerals I studied did once I found the right balance between intensity and transparency.

Each mineral has its own secret, but this one would be a good candidate for a challenging class on color theory.

From a resource by W. Wooster.



07-25. Gypsum #3.

We know there is gypsum on Mars. Do we know what color it is? The geometry of the crystal structure and positioning its atoms lend itself to many possibilities.



07-24. Gypsum #2.

Lovely! Gypsum not only gives us great plaster to do art – the polyhedral structure of its crystal provides us frame for a slide show!

From a resource by Comodi, Nazzareni, Zanazzi ,and Speziale.




07-23. Gypsum #1.

Wonder why this quart of plaster of Paris on the shelf at the art supply store is so often leaky?

Now you know – This is what a crystal of gypsum unit cell looks like – all tiny atoms racing to escape their frame for some reason.
Gypsum is a mineral of many trades – the fine gypsum powder was so prized by Nova Scotia, it went to war for it back in the mid-1800s. The huge, 300 sq. mi. wide sand dune of White Sand in New Mexico – it’s gypsum. The massive 36 ft long crystal in the Naica cave of Chihuahua, Mexico – it’s gypsum too. It has even been found on Mars

This amazing mineral comes as a monoclinic, prismatic structure. It is transparent but as most crystals, it acquires the color or the inclusions it gathers as it develops and grows from tiny to massive.

Alabaster, known for its transparency and soft hues is a good example of gypsum at its best – in nature and in the arts.