Sunday, February 8, 2009


Petrified Rock/Manmade Crystal
Photo by Ashton

This was a joint project.

My children, grandsons, and I have always liked to pick up rocks that catch our attention.

At one time, I worked with another art teacher who set up a huge lapidary set-up in his art room, which happened to be an old auditorium. The equipment covered the entire stage. He was into a lot of craft type of projects. Kids would take rocks to him to polish, and they turned out to be really beautiful.

We bought a small rock tumbler a few years ago, but the constant noise was bothersome. It ended up being thrown out due to the noise, and nothing seemed to be happening to our rocks after days of tumbling.

My aunt also collected rocks and had 3 huge piles of them in her mother's back yard. But her intention was to build a house of petrified rock one day. She ended up settling for a brick house, though, and all those rocks we collected were given away or sold when they sold the old home place.

Ashton has liked crystals and wanted to buy and make his own. We've tried various projects but none worked. When I was buying a sketchbook at Hobby Lobby, he picked out another sack that said we could grow our own crystals. I didn't think it would work, like all the rest we had bought or read about.

We picked out an old Cool Whip container and a petrified rock he had found. The rock went into the container with hot water and the mixture from the store. We were supposed to set it aside for a week. Two days was the limit of his patience. Nothing seemed to be happening, so he picked the rock up. I told him to leave it alone and see what happened. Days later, there seemed to be something like red Kool Aid on the sides of the bowl, above the liquid. We decided that it was working a little bit, but not what we expected.

Yesterday, we took the rock out of the bowl and put it on newspaper to dry. Lo and behold, there was a big round pink crystal attached under the rock. It is the shape of the Cool Whip bowl! There are a few sparkles on top of the rock, so we thought that, maybe, if it had been left alone, the crystal might have covered the rock. We don't know, of course.

But it is very interesting to see the difference in these two textures with their contrasting colors, as well.

The rock is natural and rough with the ridges that were once wood. The crystal is pink and filled with small glass like rods that shimmer in the light.

Asthon took photographs of the project. I had told him, at the beginning, that if we were doing this, scientifically, he should take a picture every day and write down his observations. But, we were not that involved in it and just wanted to see a pretty crystal! Maybe next time.....

The next step would be to draw and paint the creation. Or, perhaps, we will just enjoy looking at it!

I wonder if a man made crystal would have the powers that natural crystals are supposed to have. I'll have to try it next time I feel bad. This one looks like it is big enough to cure a headache! I do have a crystal that seems to help when I hold it at the time of a bad stomach ache. I don't know if it really helps, or if it just helps me to think of something else and relax a bit.


I added a button to the top of my sidebar where you can subscribe to Brazos Valley_Sketchers. This is a Yahoo group for anyone who is interested in drawing or painting in the Brazos Valley Area. .

If you know of anyone who might be interested, pass it on. I've put a lot of photos on there and a calendar with reminders of some pertinent events.


You can also fill in your e-mail address in the subscription box to subscribe to my blog. That way, you are sure to get the updates to my blog when I add them.


Another way to get my blog is to click on the Followers list and that should bring my blog right to you each time I update it.


The Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert with Texas State Artist Finalist, Virginia Vaughan, is just around the corner, Feb. 21 and into the 22nd. I hope you are coming! If not, perhaps you will pass the information on to others who might be interested.

Virginia just did a workshop in Rockport yesterday, beginning at Sunrise. (See her blog at ) They had a great time and learned a lot. Barbara reports that it was windy, but their main focus was on drawing with a brush, for this particular workshop.

Contact Sonny Moss at Mud Creek Pottery in Calvert for information, or send an e-mail to Cecelia for information and a supply list at .

We're looing forward to a full day of fun, learning, and production with a talented artist and teacher.


Crystal update: Part of the pink crystal broke off when Ashton was handling it. So, he crumbled up that part, put it back in the bowl with some water, to see if more will grow. We no longer have the big round pink crystal, but do have a part of it attached to the petrified wood. At least, now we know how to do it, if we should decide to grow another crystal. I think that, next time, it would be good to try a different shaped container.


Plein Aire Painting With Virginia Vaughan

Calvert, Texas

Come Paint With Us!

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