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Crystal Sets and Tests


Sets & Tests is a parallel body of work to my Ground Waters series, developing both simultaneously. I take the scenes, props and experiments that I use to create the miniature worlds for Ground Waters and photograph them on a simple white background.

The images in Sets and Tests capture my experimentation with the crystal-forming chemicals monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and alum. As chief scientist in these phantasmagorical environments, I test a variety of variables, including chemical growth on various materials, the effect of submerging an object in the liquid, and how added colors travel and disperse. To my continued amazement, the crystals always grow in somewhat unpredictable ways, allowing for wonderful accidents and surprising effects.


I play with shifting scale and isolating the models, allowing the viewer to closely observe their formal beauty, while giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse of my artistic process. At times, the rather mundane objects from my creative process suggest grand and poetic comparisons to our physical reality.  

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