Words by Don Komarechka
Edited by Eryka Bagwell
This image is a cross-polarized glass plate containing critic acid. The acid was dissolved in ethanol and placed on a microscope slide, and then left to evaporate. As the ethanol evaporated, the solution became super-saturated and the acid began to crystalize out of the solution. Water works here too just the same, it would like take longer to evaporate. Here is a “behind the scenes” view of the setup: donkom.ca/bts/IMG_1507.jpg
In addition to cross-polarizing the light, which would introduce a variety of colors, I needed to explore a way to integrate a prominent divide between blue and yellow. The colors are pseudo-random based on the molecular structure of the crystals and the angles of the polarized light, and I wasn’t having much luck… so, I needed to make a blue/yellow colored filter to add into the mix. How? A cardboard frame and two disposable colored shower caps. Some colors from the birefringence effect (cross-polarization) still came through, but I achieved the transition from blue to yellow.
And it’s no accident that there is a central point at the bottom of the frame, the nucleus of the crystal, which appears like a city and a civilization spreading outward. Also non-accidental are the red and blue colors rushing toward it. (white would have been too difficult to add in just this spot by natural means, but I hope the message still stands).