Mineral crystals are treasured throughout the world for their clarity and sparkle, and are used in religious rites in some faiths. They can also be color-treated to create new hues and color combinations. Quartz is the most common and cheapest crystal for color treatment, because of its clarity and neutral color. The best technique for dyeing quartz is called quench crackling, and it allows the normally non-porous quartz crystals to absorb dyes.
- Quartz crystal
- Safety goggles
- Metal tongs
- Heat resistant work gloves
- Hand held butane torch
- Water soluble dye
Always wear safety goggles when quenching hot crystals, as they can fracture and shoot out sharp fragments when they cool rapidly. For this reason, it is also best to do your crystal dyeing outside, because the force of such a fracture may cause dye to spill from the bucket.
Fill the bucket with cold water.
Pour the dye into the bucket and stir to fully dissolve. For dyeing crystals, you'll generally want a higher concentration of dye than you would for dyeing cloth, so double the quantity of dye in the solution that the manufacturer lists on the packaging.
Put on your gloves and goggles.
Turn on the butane torch.
Pick up the crystal with the metal tongs, then apply flame from the butane torch to the crystal for about one minute.
Drop the crystal into the bucket. It will crackle and absorb dye into all of the cracks, changing its general color.
Things You'll Need
- Always wear safety goggles when quenching hot crystals, as they can fracture and shoot out sharp fragments when they cool rapidly. For this reason, it is also best to do your crystal dyeing outside, because the force of such a fracture may cause dye to spill from the bucket.
About the Author
After working as an editorial assistant for the University of Chicago Press, Dario Saandvik began writing in 2009. He specializes in gardening, home maintenance and computer software. Saandvik has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Chicago and is in the graduate program for English literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
precious stones image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com