Artist Luke Jerram’s Glass Microbiology series is just amazing. The pieces are designed using a combination of scientific photographs and models in consultation with virologists from the University of Bristol, and made in collaboration with glassblowers Kim George, Brian Jones and Norman Veitch. Meditations on the global impact of each disease, the clear glass artworks challenge the familiar but artificially colored images of viruses depicted in the media. Viruses, in fact, are colorless because they are smaller than the wavelength of light.
The sculptures are held in museum collections around the world, and photographs of Jerram’s work are widely used in medical journals, text books and media stories. They’re highly regarded as useful representations of virology within the scientific community. Jerram sells the pieces in limited editions of five on his website, and also offers (surprisingly affordable) giclée prints. Too bad I discovered these too late to make my Christmas list!
Click through for four examples, and check out Jerram's gallery for more.