Kimberly Falk is a digital artist specializing in scientific animations, illustrations and 3D-printed designs. Initially trained in plant and insect biochemistry, she taught herself 3D-modelling and computer animation for the purpose of communicating scientific concepts more visually. Her fascination with the magnificent world of protists began with a move from the United States to Jena, Germany, the home of the 19th-century German naturalist and artist Ernst Haeckel. Using 3D-modelling and 3D-printing combined with lost wax casting, as well as inspiration drawn from Haeckel's drawings and contemporary micrographs, she recreates radiolarians, foraminifera, coccolithophores, and other microfossils in jewellery form. Her pieces are mostly created in solid silver and bronze, but she also offers some designs as 3D-printed plastic desk sculptures and Christmas tree ornaments.
In traditional jewellery making, the design is first carved out of wax. A mold is then formed around the wax, the wax is melted and removed, and molten metal is poured into the mold. For 3D-printed jewellery, the process is identical except that the initial wax model is 3D-printed. The advantage of using 3D-printing over hand carving is that the structures of radiolarians and other protists are often so intricate that it is impossible to carve them by hand. Sculpting a design in the computer and then 3D- printing it in wax, however, affords a level of design freedom that traditional jewellery methods simply can't provide. The most stunning examples of this are the filigree structures of Kimberly's Spumellaria and Ascilla models.
Her work can be seen on ontogenie.de and purchased at her Shapeways shop and her Etsy shop.