In my first post in the series "The Natural History Museum Inspired This!" I presented a display I crafted based on the stuffed bird specimens installed at Boston's Harvard Museum of Natural History. Today I would like to share another piece I did that was inspired by the museum's impressive Mineralogical wing (pictured below).
The display below doesn't look like much when it isn't lit. It is a wood lightbox I made, about 14 inches wide x 17 inches tall, and 4 inches deep. The face is 4-ply mat board; I used a mat cutter to cut 12 bevelled windows into it, behind which are affixed my mineral images.
To create the images, I used a technique I developed many years ago that involves layering color transparencies, carefully aligned so as to create a subtle sense of dimension; the use of more than one layer of imagery also saturates the colors, lending an intense, gem-like quality to the images. The area around each mineral image is blacked out from behind, so that the light only shines directly through the mineral. The result when lit is, I think, quite lovely to behold!
And it looks even better in a completely dark room:
Although I wouldn't go so far as to consider myself a "rockhound" I have long enjoyed casually collecting specimens that catch my eye, some of which I display in the metal box pictured below:
I recently picked up a box of these "Ed-U-Cards" from the 1960's that feature a mineral image on the front and give detailed information on the back of each card. They are pretty neat, and have some nice mineral images.
Last month I was at a bookstore and was excited to see contemporary reprints of many of the old "Golden Guide" field guide books that I remember from my childhood, including my much loved "Rocks, Gems and Minerals"! While the cover has changed, everything inside is exactly as I remembered it, including the vividly colored illustrations!
Below is an excerpt on Geiger counters from the book, and a picture of my own bright yellow Geiger counter (great fun in determining the radioactivity of vaseline glass and original red-glazed Fiesta ware!)
Finally, here is an antique mineral image I found for a dollar among a pile of dusty ephemera at a used bookstore that I framed and enjoy looking at. Feel free to print out a copy for yourself to frame and enjoy!
Thank You for joining me for part two of "The Natural History Museum Inspired This!" and now please excuse me while I begin preparing the third installment in the series!