About Paul's Lab
Let me introduce myself, my name is Paul and I live in the Netherlands. I'm a student at a Dutch technical university. I choose a technical study, because science has always been my biggest passion and I have many hobbies related to it. One of those hobbies is making crystals. Many courses from my study have touched the subject of crystals at a smaller scale (crystal structures and basic chemistry) or a larger scale (material properties). My chemical background comes in handy when conducting chemical experiments.
Since I was a small boy I have always been fascinated by the beauty of minerals, crystals and all the other shiny things that come from deep below our feet. You could always find me digging in the ground when I was on holidays. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to make them yourself, I thought back then. Reading some books on minerals I found out that it is in fact very easy to make crystals and I have been doing it many times since then. In the summer of 2008 I picked it up again after having dusted of my old chemicals kit. But this time I wanted to do it all a bit more professional: I was going to share my creations with the world! I started with sugar, salt and other household chemicals, but I'm using much more exotic ones now. I have even begun making my own chemicals, because that part of chemistry also attracts me a lot.
A special kind of crystals are made of bismuth, one of the elements in the periodic system. Melting it and letting it crystallize gives very very beautiful crystals. They look very nice, but are difficult and dangerous to make. The beauty of these crystals makes them very suitable as collector's items and I also make them into jewellery, for they are unique eyecacthers! Apart from bismuth crystals I use other crystals as well to make jewellery with.
In the first year that I have been active with Paul's Lab, I have: build a website (I have changed it 3 times in the mean time), turned two microscopes into cameras to take magnified pictures, made a dozen videos of crystals and experiments, made hundreds of bismuth and other crystals, obtained a nice collection of chemicals, learned many things about growing crystals and I have already sold 21 pieces of jewellery and 3 crystals and with the new website I'm building at the moment, including an updated webshop, sales will increase.
I have also been contacted by students to help with their projects on crystals and I have helped a teachter with growing bismuth crystals, so he could use it as a demonstration for his lessons.