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rutile beaches

updated fri 29 jan 99


David Hendley on thu 28 jan 99

>I live in Florida close to the beach, and I also use rutile in my glazes and
>slips. How does one extract the rutile from the beach sand?

If you have illmenite on your beach, you KNOW it. It's black.
I once went to such a beach in either what used to be
Yugoslavia, or the Greek island of Crete.
(Sorry, this was a long time ago).
Anyway, it's absolutely striking to see a beach with black 'sand'.

After hearing from several people, particularly Richard Aerni, about
the difficulties of simulating illmenite with titanium and iron, I
decided to take a new tack. Since I was wanting milled illmenite, but
only had granular, I decied to mill some in my little ball mill.
I have a pretty good 20-year-old stash of gran. illmenite.
I took a look at it with my 30X magnifier before loading it in
the ball mill jar.
I think this material must have come from a beach, because it
looked like beach sand, only black: smooth, round, eroded edges,
great variation in size. And, on top of that, about 5% of the
particules were clear, and looked just like silica beach sand.

It's always funny to walk up to your studio when you've left
the ball mill on overnight. Not remembering, you always
wander what the heck that noise is.

David Hendley
Maydelle, Texas