I spent a week at the Geoanalytical sample prep lab in pullman, washington.
crushing, weighing, and cooking 50 lava samples from Bolivia. Prep for XRF + ICPMS, whole-rock major and trace element analysis.
here are some videos of the process.
part 1: from pea-sized rocks to powder
part 2: packaging the last of 50 powders
part 3: mixing rock powder with lithium tetraborate
part 4: adding rock powders (within carbon crucible) to the furnace
part 5: pulling hot samples out of the oven. red hot carbon and liquid rock.
Director: Fede Producer: Silvi
part 6: final product. glass beads. notice the clear yellow bead. started out as pumice.