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Stunning Micro-Crystals Are Nature's Stained Glass Mosaics

Here's what it looks like when you grow crystals using anesthesia.
April 22, 2015, 3:00pm
Shoreline - Hydroquinone Crystals. Images courtesy the artist

Q: When is a beach not a beach? A: When it's one of Carol Roullard's stunning micro-crystal formations, which look more like stained glass windows than the results of extensive scientific experimentation. Roullard becomes one part chemist and one part puzzler to create each piece, mixing chemicals including caffeine and anesthetics into crystalline solutions, building the most colorful and interesting landscapes that she can, and then finding the single frames that best enrapture the imagination.


“The crystals have intense dazzling colors that uplift the viewer’s spirit," Roullard says. "I love the patterns, textures and the way the crystals can glide across the glass or crash into each other forming strength and character.” Unlike Linden Gledhill's iridescent crystallized DNA timelapses, which celebrate the chaos of the microscopic world, Roullard's chemical formations take on familiar, almost dreamlike forms as she digitally paints out dirt, dust, and other impurities, and finds within them the parts that look like seaside scenescapes, sprawling mountain vistas, and luminous, multicolored feathers.

Roullard has published two books on photography, and regularly blogs about her artwork and process. Her work will be on dislpay as part of Juxtaposed in Agoura at The Frame Gallery in Agoura Hills, California. Check out her work, and a timelapse of the crystalization process, below.

Shooting Stars - Urea Crystals

Conversation (Anesthetic Crystals)

loating Mountains (Vanilla and Anesthetic Crystals)

Crystal Rock Garden (Urea)

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