This Is How You Make Art from Microscopic Forms

Illustration for article titled This Is How You Make Art from Microscopic Forms

The arrangement of diatoms into tiny works of art goes back to the Victorian era, but Klaus Kemp has made that old form into a more complex modern one. And now Matthew Killip has made a short film with Kemp showing how he does it.

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Diatoms are single-cell algae with hard shells that make the beautiful microscopic gems reflected in arrangements like Kemp's. These kinds of images are fusions of the innovation of humankind and the natural world that are always astounding to see and fascinating to see in action.

Here are a few more of Kemp's work:

Illustration for article titled This Is How You Make Art from Microscopic Forms
Illustration for article titled This Is How You Make Art from Microscopic Forms

And here's how he does it:

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[via Colossal]

DISCUSSION

larry_832
larry_832

Klaus is a freaking genius. I learned to do this from him 20 years ago and still do it as a hobby, but his work is amazing.

Along with the diatom work, Klaus is one of the last great butterfly scale artists. Made in the same way that one arranges diatoms, butterfly scales add color to the mix.

Since I (attempt to) do this as a hobby now, I know how hard it really is to create something that doesn't come out looking like total crap. Klaus makes it look absolutely effortless. I have been in awe of him for 2 decades now and am glad to see him get a wider audience to appreciate his work.