04-23. Garnet #1.
Just in time to celebrate Earthday weekend – a bouquet of garnets!
341 atoms, 538 bonds, 99 polyhedra went into the structure of that feisty little mineral.
Garnet will be the mineral of week #17 in this 52 weeks tour of the geometry of nature. Garnet is a set of closely related minerals – more than twenty categories that result in gemstones in almost every color. Their crystal belongs to the cubic system, built around three axes that are all of equal length and perpendicular to each other.
Last January, I explored a rhodonite crystal, one of the subcategories of the garnet family. This time I’ll look into the generic structure of the mineral.
Garnets can be found all over the world. Some carved ones were found in the former Czechoslovakia or Egypt as far back as the Bronze Age. They were used in Sumer as well as Sweden before 2000 B.C. Native American Indians, South American Indians, Aztecs, and Mayans used it as a sacred stone.
This first visualization was extracted from a resource by Fujino, Momoi, Sawamoto and Kumazawa.
04-11. Silver #3.
Art does not have to be “pretty” every day.
Today is one of these time for me. I didn’t look for it. Still, I find it somehow disconcerting ending several hours of work with what could be a sketch for a cathedral wall and in front, two Maya-like glyphs totem poles looking at me. Is it the black and white scheme, the triangular shape of the structure? I guess inspiration has to be respected wherever it comes from. This journey through the geometry of Nature is taking an unexpected turn!
From a resource by Spreadborough & Christian.
01-28- Jadeite #7.
Last day for the Jadeite. Even the atoms look like they want to run away from their cell – i.e. the large structure in the background. I can’t blame them wanting to escape their cramped little unit structure. I kept their [flying] order and their positioning in respect of each other as defined in scientific diagrams. Like a flight of birds, there is beauty in mysterious patterns larger than us.
The 3 forefront spheres are here for an esthetic purpose. Art too has its own metrics.
01-27- Jadeite #6.
I reduced the number of lattices to 10-5-10. That’s still a lot of atoms in that plate. Which brings a Feng Shui dilemma – how do you best position a jadeite cell structure within a self-contained, circular environment?
From an experiment on a single-crystal X-ray diffraction study of jadeite by A. McCarthy, R. Downs, and R. Thompson.
01-26 – Jadeite #5.
I am not a trained scientist but I suspect one of the reasons why Jade is so hard – there are too many atoms per cell! They all seem to frantically bounce against each other and fight to escape the pressure!
As a designer – the more lines, the more difficult it is to find a common thread for a single, unified statement – yet it’s doable I guess. My admiration goes to the artists and sculptors that carve those beautiful polished glowing objects!
01-25. Jadeite #4.
A Jadeite cell is a very intimidating structure ( background). It also can be minimal (foreground) – or playful (lower right). The essence of the crystal is hiding somewhere between these lattices. How amazing the icy, polished outcome jewelers, sculptors, and artists can bring out of it!
01-24- Jadeite #3.
Yesterday’s adventure was so unsettling, I had to try again! This time I picked a jade slab from Central America and build my design around it. No, this is not some Mayan etching in the background – just the outline of the atomic structure of a Jade cell I imported from VESTA. In the forefront, the electrons of that structure. Jade is a very challenging crystal to inspire and work with. Today the cave – maybe tomorrow the light?
01-23- Jadeite #2.
For this series, I usually start my design from the atomic structure I build in VESTA. From there, I try to find the nature – in the geometry of Nature. Today, I made the mistake at some point of texturing three of the forefront atoms with a real image of a beautiful Jade rock from Myanmar. After that, I got completely stuck! I tried and I tried, nothing more I could do, alter or change in the composition.
So here it is – three Jade stones for a virtual game of Go emerging from M. Cameron, S. Sueno, C. T. Prewitt, and J. Papike database. Jade is indeed a hard and powerful crystal!
01-22- Jade #1.
Transitioning from red to green – this week, I’m exploring jadeite.
This crystal has a complex and beautiful monoclinic structure and is distinguished by its hardness and density. In Chinese, Jade is known as “yu”, which means “heavenly” or “imperial”. In Feng Shui, jadeite is thought to influence prosperity and health. On the American continent, jade artifacts can be found as far back as the Olmec and the Maya cultures. Not all jadeite is green. It can ranges in color from orange, yellow, lavender, gray and black – which makes it interesting from a designer’s perspective.
Curiously, the program brought in some unexpected cultural references I didn’t foresee. I kept them- I have a week to sort it out! The initial background is composed of 28,548 atoms, 57,519 bonds, 2308 polyhedra. Source database by C. Prewitt & C. Burnham.