Monday, 13 June 2016

Mineral Monday - Obsidian

Picture yourself watching a volcanic eruption. A blob of liquid lava flies out of the volcano and lands in the frigid water just in front of you. After it cools, you pick it up and to your amazement, you find yourself holding a piece of black glass! You’re actually holding obsidian.

Obsidian is formed when lava cools so fast that the atoms don’t have time to arrange themselves into a crystal structure. While obsidian is most often black, it can be brown, tan or even colourless since the colour comes from flaky impurities frozen at different angles in the rock. It’s pretty amazing since the chemical composition is often identical to the pink granite that forms from the same flow.

Obsidian is found all over the world, wherever there has been volcanic activity but if you have a piece, enjoy it now because it is unstable and in a couple of million years it will probably become very mottled!

When obsidian fractures, it can form extremely sharp edges and because of that, it was one of the first things man actually “mined” to use as cutting blades and spear heads.  Obsidian can actually be thinner and sharper than surgical steel and is still preferred today for scalpel blades used in delicate procedures.

Capturing obsidian’s beautiful black colour is tricky because, since it is actually a glass, there is a  translucence that lets light through and creates a beautiful, shimmering effect. This is what I have tried to do with our Obsidian colourway.  If you have seen our yarn in person you will see we are not aiming for a single colour, I want to see the different tones in my yarn.  To me the depth you get the way we dye our yarn really pops when it is knit up!  Let us know what you think!

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