Monday, October 19, 2020

Hypersphaerae iridis

Hypersphaerae iridis

Bornite Superball

Bornite, also known as "peacock ore," is a copper iron sulfide mineral ore found in "mafic igneous rocks, in contact metamorphic skarn deposits, in pegmatites, in medium- to high-temperature hydrothermal deposits, and in sedimentary cupriferous shales."  Its natural color is red, brown, or bronze, which quickly tarnishes to metallic, iridescent purple and blue with oxidization. 


H iridis mimics the range of colors of bornite in both its natural and oxidized states and the texture of the ore's variegated surface.  The balls are opaque but show a luminescence due to the "metallic" core and the smooth, outer skin.  The balls derive their color from pigmenting within the interface of the outer skin and the core surface coating.  They are heavier and more dense than other sphaerae due to the nature of the core material but are prone to cracking of the outer layer and tend to dry out with time due to exposure. (Photo Courtesy of Lenore M. Edman. (Below: 2 bornite mineral samples.)

Hypersphaerae iridis


A hand-crafted specimen box by Henry J. Simonds, created for the exhibition, Super•Ball, held at The Mine Factory in Pittsburgh, Pa, in December 2013.

Materials: contemporary balls, hardware, found frame, plexiglass, paint, salvaged wood, and engraved plate.

Photo: ©2013 Henry J. Simonds/Headwater Media


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