copper carbonate

Mineral seaweed.

This stunning specimen of malachite resembles a marine boulder encrusted with greenery, which can almost be seen to undulate in a gentle marine current. The fronds are pseudomorphs, the replacement of one mineral in its original crystal shape by another, in this case azurite (another copper carbonate mineral). The green bubbles are secondary malachite, showing a habit called botryoidal.

The specimen is from Brazil, and measures 10x8x5 Cm.


Image credit: Rob Lavinsky/

Graphene OLEDs could be coming very soon

Orange luminous OLED on a graphene electrode. © Fraunhofer FEP

From contact lenses with digital displays to elevators reaching into space, there are few futuristic applications that graphene hasn’t been touted for – but most of them remain way off in the future. 

Now, researchers at Fraunhofer, Germany have made functional OLED electrodes from the ‘wonder material’ that they claim could lead to product launches in just two-to-three years. 

As part of the EU-funded Gladiator (Graphene Layers: Production, Characterisation and integration) project, Dr Beatrice Beyer led the development of the first ever functional graphene OLED in collaboration with Graphenea, Spain and Aixtron Ltd, UK. 

The electrode is created in a vacuum – in a steel chamber, a wafer plate of high-purity copper is heated to around 800ºC. A mixture of methane and hydrogen then initiates a chemical reaction that dissolves the copper and causes carbon atoms to spread across the surface. After a cooling phase, a carrier polymer is placed on the graphene and the copper plate is etched away. 

Beyer describes the resulting electrode, which measures 1x2cm, as ‘a real breakthrough in research and integration of extremely demanding materials.’ 

Because of their flexibility, graphene electrodes could be used in virtually limitless electronic applications, from touchscreens to smart, light-regulating windows. 

Captain Pines’ Log - Ocean Anomaly #3

Today, my brother and I received distress signals coming from the Atlantic Ocean. We quickly sailed the Stan O’ War II over to the location of the signals and what we saw was something… otherworldly. To say the least.

An enormous skyscraper of an anomaly arose from the ocean floor and nearly took us out in one hit with its intense water-kinesis abilities. The thing had what appeared to be a gemstone for a nose, multiple limbs, and four eyes. The strange markings on its blue-green skin resembled that of a Malachite - a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral! 

Was this creature some sort of gem monster from another world? Or simply a hyper-evolved gemstone that hybridized with a different anomaly entirely? It isn’t clear to me, and truthfully, we didn’t really stick around long enough to find out!

End log. 

Fun Facts About Rocks!

Amethyst is a variety of quartz!

Obsidian is an igneous rock, meaning it was formed in layers of lava!

Opalite is man made! Although I think a lot of you knew this.

Blue Goldstone/sandstone is actually copper suspended in glass! It’s also manmade!

Mystic topaz is a clear topaz that has been coated to look deep purple and mysterious! The company that came up with this method of coating is called Azotic Coating Inc., in case you’re interested.

Malachite is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral, which is formed in stalagmitic formations in caves really deep underground!

Howlite is a borate mineral and was discovered in 1868 near Windsor, Novia Scotia!

Native copper infiltrating wood

We recently shared (see a piece of mine timber from an old copper mine in Arizona that was partially replaced by the copper carbonate azurite, precipitated from the waters percolating through the metal rich mine. In this sample, from the antique copper mines of Troodos in Cyprus that fuelled the Bronze Age around the Mediterranean (see, a slice of trunk has been infiltrated by copper rich waters, and the pure native metal has precipitated within its grain, each zone surrounded by a faint green area tinged with copper oxides.


Image credit: LGF Foundation


Schweizer’s reagent: Dissolving Cotton, & Rayon fibers

Schweizer’s reagent is the chemical complex:

  • Tetraamminediaquacopper dihydroxide  [Cu(NH3)4(H2O)2](OH)2

It is prepared by precipitating copper(II) hydroxidefrom an aqueous solution of copper sulfate or copper carbonate using sodium hydroxide or ammonia, then dissolving the precipitate in a solution of ammonia.

It forms a deep azure solution. If the solution is evaporated, it leaves light blue precipitate of copper hydroxide.  If the solution is evaporated, it leaves light blue precipitate of copper hydroxide. This is because the formation of the tetraminocupric complex is reversible and ammonia evaporates together with the water. If the evaporation is conducted under stream of ammonia, then deep blue needle-like crystals are formed.

Schweizer’s reagent finds use in production of cellulose products such as rayon and cellophane, because wood pulp, cotton fiber, and other natural cellulose sources are soluble in the solution. Dissolved cellulose precipitates when the solution is acidified. (x)

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NO8 Copi-mod

Made up for a US customer this was the first time I had tried a no8 Opinel with the copper handle treatment .

High carbon blade was striped from the Opinel handle then etched and stonewashed . Soviet era copper from munitions boxes hammered ,etched and stonewashed for an aged effect .

 Custom knives , sheaths and gear from

So, as promised Ill be posting some glaze recipes. This cup was one of my more popular posts so I figured it would be a good one to start with.

This cup was fired in a soda kiln, the blue comes out when the soda interacts with the glaze, and the red specks only occur when fired in heavy reduction. because of this, I tend to fire this glaze with shinos, as they both benefit from reduction. However, the copper content of this glaze causes fuming, and often affects the glazes around it. 

The recipe is as follows:

Shanner Oribe 

Custer feldspar 31

Whiting 22.1

flint 25.3

kaolin 12.6 (i used epk)

talc 7.9

bone ash 1.1


copper carbonate 5.2