Rock Crystal is the purest form of quartz. Transparent or translucent in appearance, its name in Greek is translated as ‘icy cold’ as many ancient philosophers believed it to be a form of supercooled ice. Without getting too technical, rock crystal is the perfect amalgamation of silicon and oxygen to create silicon dioxide. Glass and glass crystal also contain silicon dioxide, but a much lower percentage than rock crystal. This results in many differences in the materials, a main one being the ‘inclusions’ found in rock crystal. Inclusions are minerals trapped in the natural quartz, so when light passes through rock crystal it hits the inclusions and creates beautiful patterns like ice.
Atelier Alain Ellouz’s Rock Crystal
Atelier Alain Ellouz specialises in rock crystal creations, mainly lighting. Similar to their work with alabaster, they only source the purest forms of rock crystal for their luxury interior design projects. This pure rock crystal is mainly imported from Madagascar and is so difficult to cut it can take a team of five one day to cut one crystal. But the purity and rawness of this stunning natural quartz is worth the labour involved to create with it – no other material yields such a result.
How Atelier Alain Ellouz lights Rock Crystal
Rock crystal is used by other luxury interior design firms, but is often illuminated in a different way to Atelier Alain Ellouz. In many rock crystal light fixtures, the light source is placed at the top of the crystal and illuminates the stone from the top down. This produced a good light source but does nothing to highlight the inclusions found in the natural quartz, and Atelier Alain Ellouz believes this is not using it to its full potential. By lighting the rock crystal at the sides – as is done at Atelier Alain Ellouz – the light is still strong but the inclusions in the rock crystal are highlighted. This not only creates an effective light source, but magnifies the natural beauty of the rock crystal in a whole new way. Atelier Alain Ellouz believes light is the only way to expose true natural beauty.