The Science

Posted by Luke Truman on

          The coolest part about these designs is that they’re natural.  Even though they can’t be seen without a special microscope, there’s still a type of connection – almost primal – that strikes me visually.  The Stone Age lasted approximately two and a half million years, and by the end, before our species began working metals, we got pretty damn good at it.  We are descendants of Neolithic Man (our closest ancestors of the Stone Age) and just as the smell of saw dust reminds a son of his carpenter-father, so too does the feel of worked-stone take our psyche back to the bedrock of our civilization.  If I could explain this visually, that’s what it would “feel” like.  They’re not uniform right angles, or specific flashy colors designed by a marketing firm to target and attract our subconscious into making purchases.  They are the real deal.  The way caffeine molecules from coffee beans are just the right size, shape, and orientation to block adenosine (a sleepy-time-make-it-happen-er) response in our brain naturally, versus synthetic caffeine and all the other not-so-great chemicals on the back label of an energy drink.  I’m sure these designs could be artificially duplicated too, but – in my humble opinion – they’d give you the functional equivalent of a jittery energy drink followed by the inevitable crash.  I call that parallel: Social Anxiety.  And I’ve felt enough of that wearing most brand name clothes in general.  So, I’ve changed my thought process from what’s cool or not cool, to, what is simply real. 

          Imagine surfing above the stones that hold the design you're wearing, or climbing a cliff face that has so much happening at a microscopic level, or just hanging out on the beach knowing that any rock you see could have a badass blueprint similar to yours that could relax your mental state back to a time when things were simpler.  My favorite is skiing down a mountain knowing that locked within the rock beneath the snow, there is a design millions of years old just waiting to be found.  Just waiting to be seen.  It takes a long time to form a sedimentary rock, and an even longer time to metamorphose that rock, and my favorite designs are, so far, found in the metamorphic variety. 

          So, if the coolest – or realist – part of these shorts is indeed their naturalness factor, then how can you explain to your friends – or even view them yourself first hand – how it all works?  I’m going to try to answer this by providing you with the most condensed explanation of Optical Mineralogy ever.  After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Geology over five years ago, this “weed out” class I had to relearn only recently, furthermore, I think most Geologists in this field tend to over complicate their profession in such a way as to make interaction from the scientific community to the public: arrogantly difficult.  So, I’ll try to be as real with you as these designs are visually to me.     

  • I take a piece of stone that fits in the palm of my hand, epoxy it to a microscope slide, and cut, grind, & polish it down to a thickness of 30 microns (that’s 0.3 millimeters, or, if you prefer, 0.012 inches).  
  • At this point the stone is so thin it’s clear to the naked eye, and practically transparent under a regular microscope. So, geologists use petrographic - a.k.a. polarizing (yep, just like your sunglasses) – microscopes to block certain directions of light “propagation” in order to actually see the mineral.
  • Using plane polarized light characteristics, cross polarized light features, a 360-degree rotating stage to quantify indices of refraction, and multi-wavelength color plates to specify high interference colors, geologists can identify minerals.
              Geologists use these methods to identify minerals in the mining and petroleum industries, but also in environmental studies and academic research.  It is a broad and powerful subject that not only aids the discovery of fossil fuels and mineral deposits but simultaneously facilitates sustainable environment projects.  So, just as worked-stone was critical to our Neolithic ancestors’ culture back then, the study of stone and the processes surrounding it will be crucial to our civilization’s transition forward.  
              However – for now, at CSMC Enterprises – it’s simply our Cool-Design-Make-It-Happen-er.