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Quartz is a mineral belonging to the silicate group, mainly made of silicon dioxide. It is one of the most abundant rock-forming minerals present in the Earth’s crust. It is a brittle and transparent mineral. It can develop numerous colour variants, depending on its composition. It can be colourless, as well. Such quartz is called rock crystal.

 

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Quartz is a mineral belonging to the silicate group, mainly made of silicon dioxide. It is one of the most abundant rock-forming minerals present in the Earth’s crust.
Its name derives from the old German word kwarr (quarz), meaning grind, used by German miners, or from the Slavonic word kwadry, meaning hard (kwarda - kwarzec).
It usually forms in crystals in the shape of a prism with a six-sided cross section, ending with rhombohedral sides (each side of such a rhombohedron is called a rhomb). Well formed crystals most often can be found in rock crevices, caverns or other empty spaces where druses develop. Apart from its crystalline structure, quartz can develop grainy and cryptocrystalline variants, as well as crusts.
It is a brittle and transparent mineral. It can develop numerous colour variants, depending on its composition. It can be colourless, as well. Such quartz is called rock crystal.
Star-shaped quartz is a very rare form of quartz where crystals, which have developed into the shape of needles, form a six-ray star.

Elaborated by Barbara Kietlińska-Michalik (The Geological Museum of the Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved

Bibliography:
Jerzy Żaba, 
Ilustrowana Encyklopedia Skał i Minerałów, Katowice 2010.

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Organic formula

Nature, seemingly unpredictable, surprises us with its regularity, rhythm, and sometimes even the creation of geometric forms. Perfect ripples on the water, geese flying in a V-formation, mushrooms forming a circle in the forest - they arouse admiration, but the surprise at their discovery is greater. This impression results from the association of the sense of order being a property belonging solely to the human mind, and being the result of its production, in contrast to the irregularity which characterises the living world. However, this could not be more wrong.

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Nature, seemingly unpredictable, surprises us with its regularity, rhythm, and sometimes even the creation of geometric forms. Perfect ripples on the water, geese flying in a V-formation, mushrooms forming a circle in the forest - they arouse admiration, but the surprise at their discovery is greater. This impression results from the association of the sense of order being a property belonging solely to the human mind, and being the result of its production, in contrast to the irregularity which characterises the living world. However, this could not be more wrong.
Nature is ruled by complex laws which impart rhythm and order to its activities. They result in a multitude of designs and motifs which nota bene have inspired man for thousands of years. Creative mechanisms of nature are characterised by unusual simplicity. The geometry of the emerging patterns is implemented according to the principle whereby identical modules grow into entire sets of forms. We can clearly see this method by looking at a crystal. “The crystalline structure is the result of a well-ordered arrangement of atoms subjected to the regime of forces affecting them. The size of the crystal is derived from the reproduction of its elemental structure” - we read in the description of the object, which is Halite crystals from the Salt Works Museum in Wieliczka. Calcite is formed in an analogous way. Interestingly, each wall of its single module takes the form of an isosceles rhombus.
The order of nature, which creates regular sets of forms, has been intuitively developed in decorative art. It adopted the same principle of simplicity in creating patterns, employing it in specific decorative elements. This example is well illustrated by the Sea Urchin from the collections of the Geological Museum of the Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, whose structure is formed by radially propagating, regular protuberances, inscribed in a circle. It makes one think of the form of a rosette or a star, which have been decorative motifs occurring throughout various epochs in all fields of art. (cf. Spoon Rack from Podhale, Cross of the Tailors’ Guild in Kęty).
Individual patterns are created thanks to basic shapes used in a variable or regular arrangement, placement or alternation. This method, combining elements in a simple fashion, allows you to obtain an infinite multitude of configurations. An example is the phenomenon of snowflakes or the Star-shaped quartz repeating the same pattern from the collection of the Geological Museum of the Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences.
The regularity of the pattern, however, should not be continuous, because your eyes will quickly get used to it. The element of surprise, deviation from the principle – this is what catches your attention.
In art, inspiration drawn from nature is not a novum, the formation and dependencies between both of them, in turn, is still a mysterious process, with the topic itself being undoubtedly relevant and still explored.

Elaborated by Paulina Kluz (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums), 
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland.

 

 

 

Bibliography:
Ernst H. Gombrich, Zmysł porządku: o psychologii sztuki dekoracyjnej, Kraków 2009. 

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Star-shaped quartz

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