12-09. Hematite #7.

If we were to revisit cave painting a few thousand years forward, what would it look like? Hematite is still quite a source of inspiration!

From a resource by E. Maslen, V. Streltsov, N. Streltsova, and Ishizawa.



12-08. Hematite #6.

Do you wonder what a hematite sounds like?

Its unit cell structure gives us the score, the notation, the key, even the notes’ succession and tempo!

I may rework this artwork as a multimedia file as soon as done with this project focusing uniquely on the visual aspect of the geometry of minerals. The challenge is intriguing!

From a resource by L. Finger and R. Hazen


12-07. Hematite #5.

Opposites attract each other!

Case in point – the stable and elegant structure of the hematite unit cell and the apparent chaos of its multitude of atoms. The result? A mineral that brings a beautiful variation of red as a powder but not much else in the tangible reality.

From a resource by L. Finger and R. Hazen.



12-05. Hematite #3.

When art meets science: a hematite crystal transformation by real-time synchrotron powder diffraction.

From a resource by  A. Gualtieri and P. Venturelli.



12-03. Hematite #1.

Hematite, the rock our ancestor used to draw on cave walls, will be the mineral for week #49. 

Hematite is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth – and on Mars too. Apparently, that’s where the planet’s red color comes from. It is a tight, atom packed crystal that has the shape of a hexagon or a scalenohedron – a six-sided polyhedron. It belongs to the trigonal family system and its symmetry is R3c.

It has been used extensively in intaglio engraved gems from Greek and Roman to Victorian times. Renaissance oil canvas painters made great use of it in its powder form because it’s opaque, stable and permanent. Mixed with white it creates a large array of pinkish to light brown colors found in many portraitures of the time.

From a resource by R. Blake, R. Hessevick, T. Zoltai, and L. Finger – a Hematite crystal unit cell from Elba, Italy.



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.



07-23. 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.



04-20. Olivine #5.

The color and texture of this visualization remind me of a project I worked on a few years ago called Martematica. Maybe this olivine is coming from a meteorite or is a fragment of the planet Mars that landed here?

The resource from Muller-Sommer, Hock, and Kirfel does not mention the origin of the crystal.