Diffracting Around - ink drawing

Regina Valluzzi

Arlington, United States

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Pigma micron ultrafine line felt-tip pens made by sakura, Derwent gray ink fine line felt tip pigment pen, archival art markers on acid free archival Strathmore series 400 drawing paper.

A combination of compass and ruler guided drawing and free-hand details were used to create the unique look of this small abstract ink drawing. As with many of my abstract drawings, this is more of an abstraction than a pure abstract. It abstracts and works from geometric concepts and patterns in diffraction and scattering physics, optics, waves and the properties of atoms and molecules. These ideas are readily recognizable to those who work with them daily.

I’ve spent many hours staring at diffraction rings. Powder diffraction, fiber diffraction, polycrystalline textures, diffraction from X-rays,the sampled rings and single crystal and twinned epitaxy and epitaxial patterns in the electron microscope backplane.

There was a point in my life when the patterns of ring spacing and geometry would start to “read” like words, and I could guess the structures I was measuring before completing the analysis. It’s a weird sensation. I find diffraction-like patterns of rings oddly beautiful, like little allusive fourier transformed poems about molecules.

I’m sure part of this aesthetic is informed by years of seeking the data-rich interpretable patterns in sample preps and analysis (you also have to analyze the bad ones, but starting with the good ones makes the whole exercise a lot more possible.)

This little drawing captures several levels of diffraction and waves through art – the lovely bits of interference from overlapping waves, the patterns of rings generated by a sample of tiny crystallites, even a bit of the orientation information in the patterns of broken and attentuated intensity within rings. It’s Art, not an interpretable pattern. The patterns have multiple origins and also allude to wavefronts – not something you’d get in an experiment with a single beam or radiation source.

Artwork Comments

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