03 March 2015

Tuesday drawing - minerals at Natural History Museum

When we were recently at the Natural History Museum, I had a quick look at the minerals and wrote a bit about the collection in this post. Drawing there seemed to offer too many choices - I had brought coloured pencils and watersoluble crayons, but spent most of the time not with the fabulous colours but with textures, and of a small section of minerals at that.

The theme for the CQ challenge this year is "Elements" and the mineral elements simply fell into my lap, so to speak, in their cases near the entrance to the gallery. I set about collecting an example of each on a page with 15 little squares -
Capturing some of the textures in pencil was beyond my powers or patience, but it was good to look so closely at these forms and structures. Nor were the examples I'd chosen the only possibility - some of the elements had many different examples, truly a bewildering array when the subject is new to you.

These are "my"elements; whether they become a quilt in some way (one does wonder, how...) or not, it's been an education to study their appearance and learn something about them. Did you know that two-thirds of chemical elements only occur in nature as compounds? I was lucky to find 13 of them in one room -
No photo of Tellurium, "lamellar on quartzite" ... ah well ...
Tin - it occurs chiefly as tin dioxide in the mineral cassiterite
Bismuth - tarnished flattened crystals showing stages in growth
Carbon in the form of graphite
Carbon in the form of diamond (or rather, glass models)
Mercury is a liquid but sometimes found in tiny globules with cinnabar
One of the forms of silver - as a wire; it also looks lovely as a dendritic spray of crystals
Nor did I photograph the gold, though I drew it as a "group of rounded crystals" and as a "waterworn mass on quartz".

And now for something completely different - eventually I sat down in front of this beauty and got out the crayons -
"Wardite, grey-blue with green variscite and cream crandallite" - from Utah. Possibly I'd used up all my looking ability by then, or just wanted to indulge in colour ... it was difficult to decide how much detail to include, knowing that leaving out details would misrepresent the structure of something that had "grown" in a particular way.
A pale imitation of the real thing ... just wrong
Mike had, as usual, captured a great number of separate objects, of which this is but one -
Those look like lamellar crystals, and the moment I saw them I wanted to stitch them! He preferred using pencil over pen for the minerals, but in her drawing of wiry silver, Caryl found the opposite - with pen she felt freer -
 Finally, a curiosity -

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