Ice Agate ~ Stone Scarf
Mary Lou Agate
Agates are semi-precious gemstones that are a variegated form of chalcedony (pronounced kal-sed'-nee), which is silicon dioxide in the form of microscopic fibrous quartz crystals. Agates naturally develop when an empty pocket inside a host rock fills in molecule-by-molecule, layer-by-layer as these microcrystals self organize to form concentric bands or other patterns. Agates develop as secondary deposits in hollow cavities, called vesicles. Although they can form in all types of host rock, most of the world's agates developed in ancient volcanic lava. When the continents were first forming, layers of molten lava pushed toward the earth's surface through rift zone cracks, volcanoes, and other geologic events. Within the lava, there were pockets of trapped gases. Later, these gases escaped through cracks that formed as the igneous rock cooled and hardened, leaving hollow cavities. Other cracks and seams also formed when adjoining sections of lava cooled at different rates. These empty cavities and seams filled with fluids rich in dissolved and suspended quartz molecules (silica), as well as other mineral impurities. When the silica concentration became supersaturated, it developed a gelatin-like consistency either throughout the pocket or in a layer that served as the active crystallization front. Over time, the silica molecules began to form miniature fibrous microcrystals that attached to the sides of the cavity or seam. During the filling-in process other mineral impurities collected at the inside of the chalcedony silica band, forming intervening and often contrasting bands. This pattern repeated until the entire vesicle was filled in, or until all the silica rich solution was used up. If there was the proper balance of silica and mineral impurities, then the entire cavity filled with alternating bands. If there was an insufficient quantity of mineral impurity or if the pressures and temperatures changed, the cavity completed filling in with macrocrystalline quartz, or another form of silica.The arrangement of the microcrystals are influenced by changes in pressure, temperature, and mineral content that occur during the formation process. Unlike other gemstones, each agate is unique. Even slabs cut from the same specimen will vary in color and design.
Using high magnification lens we capture images deep within the microscopic typography of the stone and can transport the viewer into a micro world, far beyond what the naked eye perceives. Then we transfer those images onto luxurious fabric for "Stone Scarves”! Chiffon, lightweight and translucent, is the material of choice for our scarves as it allows for the printed design to be visible on both sides. The ultra-sheer fabric is printed using ecologically-safe transfer sublimation inks that provide vibrant color and strong wash durability. The printing process consumes no water and uses non-toxic bio-degradable inks. (We recommend washing machine with phosphate free detergent on a warm or cool delicate setting. Tumble dry low or line-dry)
All of our macro photographs are of our own stone; cut and polished, exposing the natural beauty inside.
(All photos shown are watermarked for online viewing. The purchased art will not show watermark.)
©Light the Earth, All Rights Reserved
Copyrighted. No Usage Without Permission