, 19th - early 20th century
Rock crystal (quartz) with incised decoration; wood stand
10 7/8 x 9 5/8 inches (27.6 x 24.4 cm)
Gift of Major General and Mrs. William Crozier, 1944
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- Of what material is this object made?
- Can you find Chinese writing? Clouds? The moon?
- Can you find a rabbit wrapped in clouds?
- How was this object made? For whom?
Art Activity: Soap Carving
The sculpture Moon Crystal
was carefully carved from a hard stone, rock crystal. Carving is called a subtractive process because you start with a large, blank form, and subtract or carve what you do not want. Try carving a bar of soap free of perfumes and lotions. Sketch a simple object, like a face or an animal, on paper the same size as your soap bar. Remember to sketch
both the front and back of your objects. Use a pencil to etch the design into the soap. Use carving materials (toothpicks, paper clips, Popsicle sticks, and plastic knives and forks) to slowly shave tiny bits of soap. Go slowly. Cutting away too much or too quickly will result in a broken bar of soap!
Research Project: Rock Crystal
is made of rock crystal, a
hard stone and a transparent form of the
mineral quartz. Research rock crystal,
how it is formed in the earth, and how it
is carved. What makes it so rare? What
makes it so difficult to carve? Be sure
not to confuse rock crystal with the name
"crystal" that is sometimes used to
describe glass. Students might compare
and contrast the material and methods of
manufacture of rock crystal objects and
Group Activity: Rabbits or Hares in World Mythology
Rabbits and hares have been featured in
the mythology and art of many cultures.
Divide students into small groups, and
assign each group a culture to investigate
for folktales and images of rabbits. Look
particularly at stories from China, Korea,
Japan, India, and Native American,
African, and American cultures. Have
each group choose one story to read or
act for the whole class. Discuss the similarities
and differences of the stories, and
what role the rabbit plays in each.