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Man-made nature: the divine mineral sculptures of Daniel MacDonald


Made of salt crystals, the Shio decorative objects “grown” by Seattle-based scientist/artist/designer Daniel MacDonald are quite something. And while I’m not suggesting a room-full of these, one piece strategically placed, either as a table light on a console or sculpture on a cocktail table, can add interest and enchantment to a room. Talk about different in a good way!



Daniel replicates and expedites the natural process of intricate mineral formations by trickling salt water over a fabric covered plastic skeleton.  As tiny crystals start to form, the path of the trickling water is naturally diverted, creating more crystals interwoven with each other.  This process goes on until the object is fully formed. It takes about 1 week to complete the growth of the formations, which are all different, and then these are turned into LED lamps or sculptural decorations.



Shio, the Japanese word for salt, was born as a nursery/studio after Daniel decided to take up his child fascination with the beautiful mineral formations around the geysers and hot springs at Yellowstone National Park.  If there is one lesson to learn from today’s post it is that inspiration and creativity are truly all around us.


image credits: Daniel MacDonald for Shio, Seattle



PS: Thank you for stopping by and reading my feature today.  I love what I do as an interior designer and art advisor, and it’s my hope that through these blog posts I’m enriching and heightening your aesthetic sensibility towards art, design and fabulous interiors in some way ~ Richard Rabel (a.k.a. the modern sybarite)

  • Cynthia Karalla

    Very very cool


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