Ruin marble is a mix of limestone, iron oxides, and other minerals that co-mingle and randomly form shapes that look like crumbling skylines and the ruins of dead cities. The geological conditions needed to create these forms are rare, so most ruin marble is about 50 million years old and is mainly found near Florence, Italy. Source


Bearded Vulture

Bearded vultures have reddish yellow or white plumage on the head and breast with a grey black tail and wings. In the adult individual the black strip over the eyes and the bristles at the base of the beak form the distinctive appearance of a beard. The reddish plumage on the neck and under parts are derived from iron oxide which the birds rub into themselves.

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A couple of days ago a live streamed a periscope where I began crystallizing this ghost cicada using one of my favorite chemicals and left over pink Himalayan salt and iron oxide pigment. This piece will be available at my upcoming solo show at @tulsaodditiesneedfulthings December 4th
#tylerthrasher #cicada #crystallized #tulsa #primamateria #alchemy #chemistry

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Rust on steel and iron is just iron oxide, which is found in soil all over the world, especially red and yellow soils.


Iron is considered a plant micronutrient.  Iron is absorbed by plants as the ferrous ion (Fe+2), which is necessary for the formation of chlorophyll and functions in some of the enzymes of the plant’s respiratory system (Schneider et al., 1968).  Much of the iron in well-drained soils is in the ferric (Fe+3) form, which is unavailable to plants.  Iron deficiencies may result if the soil minerals do not gradually release ferrous (Fe+2) iron to replace that which is being oxidized to ferric iron over time (Thompson and Troeh, 1973).  Iron deficiencies can also result from an excess of manganese and possibly copper (Sommer,1945).  Manganese and copper are oxidizing agents that convert ferrous irons to the more insoluble ferric form. Iron deficiencies caused by manganese toxicity occur in acidic soils that otherwise would supply adequate iron for plant growth (Thompson and Troeh, 1973).


Iron is recognized as an essential element as early as 1845.  Iron is essential for plant growth, and is generally considered to be a micronutrient.  Iron is necessary for the formation of chlorophyll and functions in some of the enzymes of the respiratory system.  Iron is an abundant element in rocks and soils, but it is also one of the most commonly deficient micronutrients. This problem is associated with the extremely insoluble nature of certain compounds of ferric (Fe+3) iron.  These compounds accumulate in highly weathered soils and are major constituents of the red soils of tropical regions.  Fossil remnants of some ancient soils contain enough iron to serve as iron ore.  These compound, however, are too insoluble to meet plant needs, even as a micronutrient (Thompson and Troeh, 1973).  

- Ecological Soil Screening Level for Iron

I’ve seen gardeners bury pieces of scrap iron near trees in order to encourage leafy green growth. Far from being a poison, iron is a neglected but essential micronutrient that is partially responsible for leafy green growth in plants.

etsyfindoftheday 3 | 3.7.16

blackened wood media console, 72” by wrenandcooper

modern, clean lines make this media console rad — it’s built entirely from solid walnut and treated with iron oxide so portions become ‘blackened.’ so cool!


A sculptor based in Coruña, Spain seems to be defying the laws of nature with his amazing malleable stone sculptures. His name is José Manuel Castro López’s and his works are actually a trick of the eye. They are made out of natural materials like granite and iron oxide, from which he crafts his rock-like formations with folds, wrinkles and flaps as if they were made of clay or skin, as in his “Faces” series where smiling and grimacing human faces are carved out of the solid material. Providing some of the stones’ fleshy appearance, one could say they almost appear to be alive. 

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Lovely geode

These balls of quartzy rock record the shape of bubbles in long frozen basaltic lava. They were deposited after the flow had cooled by silica rich waters, possibly driven in a convection cell by the heat of cooling lava. What I love about them is the element of surprise; no one knows what marvellous landscapes hide within until the diamond tipped saw is sent a whirring. In the lovely example in the photo (sorry no scale available) layers of agate started to fill the ex bubble from the outside in. A layer of jelly like colloidal silica probably precipitated to create the horizontal banding, while crystals of lovely pink chalcedony (coloured by traces of iron oxide or manganese) and drusy points of water clear quartz grew inwards into the cavity.


Image credit: Captain Tenneal


Marsha Cottrell

Impossible Night, 2011; iron oxide on mulberry paper; 24 ½" x 38 ½"

Under the Illuminating Hydrogen, 2012; iron oxide on mulberry paper; 62" x 105"

Hitherto Unknown Lights, 2011; iron oxide on mulberry paper; 24 ½" x 38 ½"

Untitled, 2011; iron oxide on mulberry paper; 8 ½" x 11"

Polar Sun, 2012; iron oxide on mulberry paper; 52 3/8" x 80"