Apr 3, 2019
Light filters through large windows at Claire Zurkowski’s apartment, where she sits at her loom, weaving bright yellow-orange thread into a rug already filled with the colors of the rainbow.
Weaving is a bit like playing the piano; her feet tap the pedals and her hands move over the half-created rug stretched out on the wooden frame, pulling the shuttle back and forth through the multicolored threads. The colors and angles in her work reflected in the rocks and minerals sketched into her lab notebooks; her works are inspired by the refraction patterns of the crystals she studies as a graduate student in geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago.
“The way light travels through crystals is affected by atomic structure,” she says. “If light travels faster in one direction than another, you get these beautiful spectrums—light split in different directions like a prism.”