Monday, July 5, 2010

Nature's Garden of Crystals - Summer update

     May and June were activity filled months in the mineral world: major shows, field collecting, general travel, etc. In that time, nearly 200 pages of chapters in Nature's Garden of Crystals were committed by various authors. We were particularly pleased that two of the world's finest mineral photographers came on board. One is doing a retrospective of the finest European minerals he has ever photographed, while another photographer, also European will present an homage to his mineralogical mentors and has an expanded chapter featuring two important localities, also European. Continuing a theme of specific minerals, there will be a wonderful chapter on Chinese minerals. Several of the chapters are biographical illustrating great minerals that have come to their expanding collections and their particular impression of what these minerals have as the "it" factor. These are also very strong chapters. Many of the world's finest mineral specimens grace the pages, but there is a wealth of beautiful minerals which do not need to be the world's best to be loved and appreciated. The gamut of species representation is fairly wide with not much in the way of duplicating minerals from a particular locality. As such, Nature's Garden of Crystals is an intimate look at beautiful minerals from a wide variety of points of view: aesthetics, history, rarity, out of the ordinary, high quality. The time line for publication has moved forward, as is to be expected. It is possible to have a debut at Munich, but more than likely Tucson will be the extravaganza. Several of the authors who've signed on came in just the last few days and we area awaiting  their start on their chapters. About one half of the chapters have been put into layouts already so that the authors may see what shape their chapter may take. It's very important that authors can see their layouts early so that facing images may compliment each other, a flow through the chapter may be elegant, and the story each author wants to present is as interesting and as error-free as possible. One of the goals of Nature's Garden of Crystals is useful content to accompany nice images. You've heard this before, but I'm really excited about the direction this book has taken. In a time of economic uncertainty, dealers have recognized that Nature's Garden of Crystals offers a venue for bringing themselves in front of the world's mineral collectors by showcasing fine minerals and fine images. Mineral Collectors have also come froward to present their story about the minerals they have a passion for. The mixture is complementary, visually stimulating, and contains the textural content to make the book interesting, if not compelling. As an end note, it is important to realize that many of the authors' images were taken by the specimens' owners, although there is an excellent representation of European and US professional photographers. With the dramatic rise in the quality cameras available to the general public and the development of excellent photographic skills by a wide base of mineral collectors, the galleries of images being submitted are first-rate! This is an important development as the owners have a personal connection with their specimens and have the insight to produce fine images. The last time when new authors may join the Nature's Garden of Crystals project will be just after the Denver Show. Thank you all and stay tuned!