Monica Phillips has lived in Issaquah, WA for 14 years and is known mostly for her colorful dichroic fused glass jewelry. Lately, she's become enamored with photographing crystals under a microscope, which is quite challenging and very rewarding. Interestingly, the crystal micrographs (photos taken under a microscope) colors look a lot like dichroic glass; but for different reasons.
Her images are photographs of lysine, alanine, Vitamin C or magnesium chloride crystals taken with a polarized microscope. Lysine, alanine, Vitamin C or magnesium chloride powder is dissolved in very-hot water and mixed. A drop of the solution is placed onto a microscope slide and allowed to dry. As the liquid is drying, it is forming crystals, which can only be seen under a microscope. These substances have an optical property called Birefringence. This property causes the crystals to act like prisms and produce many vibrant colors when polarized lenses are used with the microscope. None of the colors in these photographs have been enhanced by Photoshop. Seven to 10 images were taken and focus-stacked to sharpen the merged image. This photo was printed using a pigment ink printer; therefore, the print should last decades if kept out of direct sunlight. Each image is unique because the crystals change with age. Her goal is to make unique, colorful art, and not to listen to her inner critic.