CrystalProtein.com is a project of Bathsheba Grossman, a sculptor and designer.
In 2002 she was doing some art with the newish medium of subsurface laser damage in glass, when a biologist friend asked for a model of ferritin, which is a lovely molecule with cubic symmetry. This was obviously a good idea, and she was off: writing code, parsing file formats, breaking glass, and learning about molecular visualization. Her sculptor's perfectionism and software skills soon led to wide experience with data physicalization.
In 2003 she partnered with Precision Laser Art for manufacturing. They get the glass out the door without fail, and their cheerful open-mindedness is priceless – always ready to etch what's never been done before, in time to hit that deadline.
In 2005 Raymond Keller came on board part-time, then went on to do 1000+ designs in the next nine years. He improved the code base immensely, supporting a wider variety of imaging tools and data formats, then moved on amicably in 2013.
We believe that subsurface laser etching is an underused medium, and we feel lucky to have the resources and skills to apply it to scientific visualization. Our mission is simple: keep drawing 3D things for science, because data physicalization is interesting.
“The awards have consistently gotten rave reviews with our students… Thanks again for the great art. This is the highlight of the awards (some of these kids get 10 certificates of achievement that will get shoved in a drawer, these awards are always out in the open and they love them).”
“Thanks once again! I really enjoy and appreciate your professionalism and extra care in interpreting our vision of the sculpture. Especially, with the really tight constraints this time. I don't believe we pulled it off!”
“It is superb! My son is thrilled with it. Your website images do not show how good your products are.”
“I just got the structure today and I have to say its absolutely amazing! I showed everyone in the lab and then some other labs heard about it and came by to see it as well. Everyone thinks its one of the most incredible things they have seen. I am very happy with it, thank you so much!”