This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
See also Sponges.
An attractive window display for stores can be prepared as follows:
In a wide-mouth jar put some sand, say, about 6 inches in depth. Make a mixture of equal parts of aluminum sulphate, copper sulphate, and iron sulphate, coarsely powdered, and strew it over the surface of the sand. Over this layer gently pour a solution of sodium silicate, dissolved in 3 parts of hot water, taking care not to disturb the layer of sulphates. In about a week or 10 days the surface will be covered with crystals of different colors, being silicates of different metals employed. Now take some pure water and let it run into the vessel by a small tube, using a little more of it than you used of the water-glass solution. This will displace the water-glass solution, and a fresh crop of crystals will come in the silicates, and makes, when properly done, a pretty scene. Take care in pouring in the water to let the point of the tube be so arranged as not to disturb the crop of silicates.