About

Custom Feature Tiles - Mineral Photography and Original Abstract Artwork

The idea for my shop arose from the wish to have a way of sharing my sister's mineral photography. Sue was a geologist and captured a stunning series of images of mineral thin sections under the microscope.

While working in the lab as a geologist, Sue was fascinated by the stunning colours, shapes and forms that rock samples display under the microscope, revealing a unique abstract work of art. They show an unusual and unique view of the geological landscape that few people would ordinarily get to see.

Sue believed that others would appreciate the stunning view in the same way, and wanted to find a wider audience for her artwork. Tragically Sue passed away suddenly in 2007, not having had a chance to share her extraordinary photos. It didn’t seem right that Sue’s works should remain out of sight, and in the last few years Sue's photos have been exhibited at Bondi Beach in Sydney and at Art Melbourne, and also in exhibitions in Toowoomba and Brisbane. It has helped our family to continue to work with these beautiful images in Sue’s memory.

The mineral photo images you see here used in making the products in my Etsy shop were the first 12 photos Sue chose as her Australian Mineral Series No.1. Among the many other photos still unpublished I am sure there is a Series 2, and in the near future I hope to release a second series of photos, the ones I think Sue loved too and would have wanted to share.

For the technically minded, below is a description of the rock ‘thin section’ process in Sue’s words:
After cutting and roughly trimming with a diamond tipped saw the rock is slowly cut, ground and then polished to a thickness of 0.03mm (30µm). Using resin to hold this incredibly thin slice of rock onto a glass slide the constituent minerals are now ready to be viewed under a polarising microscope. The diagnostic colors produced by projecting various wavelengths of light through the rock sliver, in conjunction with mineral shape and its association with other minerals are used to determine the mineral type. The diagnostic colors and shape of the mineral can also tell the experienced petrologist the approximate chemical composition of the mineral.

Recent works
In late 2016, I embarked on a project to satisfy my own creativity while preserving the integrity of Sue's works. This has taken the form of creating original artworks on tile inspired by Sue's mineral photography, which are essentially small scale abstract paintings using acrylic paint and resin. These works are intended to complement Sue's photos and I have enjoyed creating something that I think could look really great used with Sue's images.

I plan to do more of these tiles throughout 2017 as examples to put in my shop, but obviously these tiles would be made to order and each one will be a unique piece.

Also late in 2016, in response to suggestions that customers may want feature tiles with other images or photos, I started experimenting with images of various animals, birds, and oddly enough some architectural features that struck me as being ideal shapes, colours, textures and structures that would work as a repeated pattern. I was surprised by how well some of these images worked, for example the flamingos, peacocks and vintage insect drawings. I've also had a bit of success with the clay pots and architectural elements on tile.

I want to offer customers a wide range of images and artwork to choose from, although as you can imagine, my heart lies with Sue's mineral photos.

Please feel welcome to discuss your requirements prior to placing an order, I will try my best to make some beautiful tiles for your home 😊

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