Brother John’s

Growing Crystals » From my “Growing Crystals” experiments.

Young “budding” crystals.

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This is how I began my crystal project. I started with a super saturated sugar solution (at least twice as much sugar as water), and I lowered a string with a paper clip on the end into the solution keeping it in place with a “chop” stick. As sugar molecules “fell out” of solution due to evaporation, they began to form classic crystals. The key to this one is the string. It is very textured and irregular on its surface. A good starting place for crystals to develop.

8 Comments »

  1. I did that! my crystals aren’t growing at all! i had to redo it three times and it still didn’t grow! i waited a whole week! nothing happened! wut am i doing wrong?!

    Comment by Meredith — January 21, 2009 @ 9:52 pm | Reply

  2. Meredith,

    I actually hate to hear that… way back in the day, when I was in school, I totally failed my crystal growing project. Not only did I feel bad about that, but I didn’t look too good compared to my classmates who did succeed. In my adult life, I’ve since learned a lot about the mechanics and science of growing crystals. I actually got the knowledge BEFORE I tried to recreate my old school project. But when I did, I got crystals on my very first try!

    Recently, two other people (Raymond and Tay) asked me for advice and I gave a fairly lengthy description at this link. If your browser won’t let you click on that directly, you can manually type in the address:

    https://brotherjohns.wordpress.com/more-fun-with-crystals/#comment-253

    One tip I didn’t mention to Raymond or Tay is that you can dip your string into your saturated solution early on, then lay the string on some wax paper. As it dries, you’ll get some “seed crystals” forming in the string. Later, when you submerge your string in the solution, the seed crystals will give the whole process a head start.

    Read over what I’ve written to Raymond and Tay and see if it helps.

    Brother John
    Lansdowne, Pennsylvania USA

    Comment by Brother John — January 22, 2009 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

  3. um my crystals didnt grow either it grew llike really small then it disapeared!!

    Comment by Amy — April 20, 2009 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

    • The biggest deal is with the “saturation” of your solution. Too little concentration results in small crystals. Too much concentration causes “wild” seeds to accumulate on the bottom of your container, on the sides of your container, and it seals off the top of your solution preventing evaporation. All crystals will stop forming when the concentration of solution in the water drops to a certain point. And if the solution becomes too “watery”, the process will even reverse! Yep, your crystals will start to “ungrow”. They will vanish! Did you continue to add water? If you did, you also needed to increase the concentration of your solution. Given enough time, and proper adjustments to your solution, it is actually possible to grow LARGE crystals. I have some examples I’ll share when I get some time.

      Brother John
      Lansdowne, Pennsylvania USA

      Comment by Brother John — October 15, 2009 @ 6:38 am | Reply

  4. You are very smart to know exactly how to make crystals.

    Comment by Ashley Hughes — October 14, 2009 @ 7:23 pm | Reply

  5. Amy and Ashley,
    I’m going to start some crystal projects again in the near future. I have a new site where I plan to post my progress and give tips. If your browser won’t let you click on the link, you can type this in:

    http://brotherjohn.thruhere.net

    As I said, It might take me a little while yet before I start.

    Brother John
    Lansdowne, Pennsylvania USA

    Comment by Brother John — October 15, 2009 @ 6:33 am | Reply

  6. Very cool me and my buddy are doing a class experiment on crystals, well a science project really. but your pictures are very cool!

    Comment by Truce — January 4, 2010 @ 2:02 pm | Reply


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