Saturday, November 15, 2014

Painting Inspiration for Dwarven Forge Cavern Tiles

I have been taking my kids to visit colleges this fall. After visiting Kutztown University we went to Crystal Cave also in Kutztown. We've been there before, but not for years. The kids wanted to go, and I wanted pics  of the cavern for painting reference. This was a great source of info and ideas on painting my DF Cavern Pieces.

Here are pics of what we saw. Keep in mind taking photos in poorly lit areas is tricky at best. They do have internal lights, but really only to highlight features. Also some of the rooms were huge so it "ate" my flash. All that said, I did get some good shots.

A couple of things struck me as we toured the cave and listened to the guide talk. The first thing is Humans have been damaging this cave since it was discovered in 1871. Lots of broken off stalagmites and stalactites taken as souvenirs . Just touching the stone formations can damage them with the oils from our skin. For stone structures, they can be quite fragile. The other thing, is the huge amount of time it takes for the various formations to "grow". Stalactites in the cave that have been growing for about 100 years are one to two inches long.

The amount of colors, textures and shapes in one cave was astounding.

Anyway, very cool and very informative.

 You can see where stalactites were broken off.

Some of the stalactites were "dead". Meaning there was no seeping water in that section, and they were drying and crumbling away.


This was the biggest chamber I think. The chamber before was formed when a huge chunk of the ceiling gave way and fell against the wall. Creating an upper and lower pathway thru the cave.

This is a column. Which is when Stalagmites and Stalactites join together. It's hard to tell, but this guy is about 15 feet tall.

Baby stalactites about 50 to 100 years old. They are 2 to 3 inches long.

The spotlight washes it out, but this is the only standing water in the cave. About a foot across and 2 inches deep.

Stalagmites cut off to make it easier for people to walk thru the cave.

 The pool again. It's building up a rim around it that will eventually cover the small pool, in 50,000 years.

Hard to see here, but the center of the picture is called cave coral.

Multi-colored flowstone. I loved this one.

Small field of Stalagmites.

Looking down from the "highest" point in the cave.

If you get a chance, I do recommend visiting Crystal Cave in Kutztown PA. It was very cool.