Flurries 6

Solenhofen Quarries

Solenhofen, a small town in Bavaria, became the sole source for lithographic stones, its Jurassic limestone formation so pure and fine-grained that it provided the artist with a light-colored, immaculate and highly sensitive surface. Stones were shipped all over the world. Fossil imprints found in the Solennhofen lime are exquisitiely crisp and detailed due to the fine texture of the lime deposits and the lack of geologic  upheavals of the layers. The most famous fossil and most valuable to humanity is that of the Archaeopteryx Lithographica. A transitional species of bird, it gave Darwin the proof he needed for his theory of evolution.

Limestone in its natural state. On the left, chunks from the Maxberg Quarry in Germany. Only a small percentage of the quarry is litho grade. The black dentritic marks are manganese that seeped ino the rock.

On the right, a piece of local black limestone from the Rockaway Quarry in Pacifica, South of San Francisco. The color is caused by bitumen, the result of vegetable deposits. The layers there are tilded due to the nearby San Andreas Fault. It is rare to explore a quarry within earshot of the Pacific surf.