During the height of the Victorian era, some of the finest works of art could only be viewed through a microscope. Their materials: The tiniest flotsam and jetsam of nature, and glue.
Starting in the 1830s, commercial demand for slides prepared with specimens such as insect scales, spines, and microscopic organisms skyrocketed as professionals and amateurs grew deeply interested in studying the microcosm. Diatoms, in particular, were a favored medium. These single-cell algae protected by glass shells come in thousands of different shapes, sizes, colors and varieties, and you can find them virtually anywhere there’s water.
The art of arranging diatoms into intricate, colorful patterns soon emerged as a spinoff of man’s fascination with the microscopic realm. Today, Englishman Klaus Kemp is the only remaining practitioner of the lost art form. Kemp collects diatoms, just microns wide, and arranges them under a microscope with a steady hand.
Documentary filmmaker Matthew Killip followed Kemp around for an afternoon to watch Kemp in action and see how makes his beautiful, microscopic displays in his short film “The Diatomist.”
Sit back, and enjoy the wonderful world of algae.
Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground” – Adafruit’s Apps!
Maker Business — Transforming Today’s Bad Jobs into Tomorrow’s Good Jobs
Wearables — Brushing it clean
Electronics — Electrolytic Limitations
Biohacking — High Power Density Human Sweat Battery
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.