03-18

03-18. Muscovite #7.

Last muscovite of the week. Beautiful mineral – but so many atoms in each crystal structure – no wonder it wants to expand and expand forever!

From a lithium-bearing muscovite resource by Brigatti, Kile & Poppi

03-18

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03-17

03-17. Muscovite #6.

It could have been a 150 atoms, 172 bonds, 34 polyhedra display from the beautiful resource from Brigatti, Frigieri & Poppi. I just went for the essence of this muscovite structure found in Sardinia, Italy, and let the central atoms do the talking. I did not even feel like retouching the color scheme – maybe not what a real mineral would look like in Nature, but I am sure the scientists had a good reason for choosing it – and if nothing else, it is very peaceful and pleasant to look at – like water on the Sardinia coastline on a warm summer night I guess!

03-17

03-16

03-16. Muscovite #5.

Call it coincidence – I did my work without checking first the provenance of this muscovite studied by Brigatti, Frigieri & Poppi. Pegmatite from Antarctica it was! Now I know the why of this  “icy” look.

I build my images focusing on the geometry of the crystals, the dynamic of its lines, or the color schemes the design calls for, without a predefined idea of what to do or how to do it.

I rely entirely on the RRUFF database and the VESTA program to guide my initial steps.

Often, I find that my visuals connect with some aspect of the geography, culture or history of the mineral’s original location. I don’t know if I should put any meaning into it – but it keeps happening time and again. And it’s very gratifying when it happens!

The hardest part for me now that I am very conscious of it – is not cheating. Checking the mineral origin before I complete the image is very tempting of course.

The subconscious is a fragile flower – it can be very easily influenced. I’ll try to stay the course.

03-16

03-15

03-15. Muscovite #4.

Mica comes in so many layers – it can be confusing sometimes. Today was one of these days I guess – or was it the history behind this muscovite from Maddalena Island, Italy? Time will tell…

From a database resource by  Brigatti, Frigieri & Poppi

03-15

03-12

03-12. Muscovite #1.

The geometry of Muscovite will be this week’s theme for the 52 grains of sand project. Before glass, Muscovite was used all over Europe and in India for homes, churches and public buildings windows. Apparently, there was a huge trade going between Elizabethan England and Russia as far back as the sixteen century.

Muscovite is a transparent monoclinic crystal in which two vectors are perpendicular to each other, and the third vector meets the other two at an angle other than 90°. The crystal builds up from individual layers stacked along a crystallographic direction. The layer structure repeats itself and can into enormous crystal groupings that can weigh several hundred pounds.

Today it is still used as an insulator for various electrical products and semiconductors. Muscovite powder is also used to create sparkles in paint, Christmas decorations or glitters for many cosmetic products – nail polish, lipstick and other.

03-12