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Married to My Work ... ?

by Bruce G. Marcot

Yes, I'm married to my wonderful WIFE, not my WORK ... but I designed my own wedding ring along the theme of my profession and my (other) life passion, wildlife.

I wanted to represent wildlife in a set of interlocking images of animals, somewhat redolent of M.C. Esher's work, because of how much wildlife has interlocked with my own life ... it was on a major wildlife field study that I met my then-future wife.

I sketched out my design, and with the help of a local artist to finalize the figures and cast it into white gold, I designed my ring as a heavy squarish band with images that wrap around three sides.  This is a one-off design; only my ring was made from it.


Following is an image I produced of the ring optically "unfolded" to show all sides (see below for a description of how I did this).

Can you see all 13 wildlife images in it??


OK, here's the key to the above image:



How could I show this multi-sided design in one flat image?

First, I took photomicrographs of each of the three sides of the ring that bear images, using my "Intel/Mattel QX3 Computer Microscope," a dandy little "toy" electronic microscope that plugs into the computer's USB port.  The microscope has a CCD imaging chip, three power levels (I used the lowest power, 10x), and can store images as .jpg files.

I then imported the three images (actually, five images, including the two "corners") side by side into a graphics program (Micrografx Photo Magic) and knit the images together, blurring the seams, so they produced one full, seamless image ... as if the ring had been split in the back and opened up flat.

This optical effect sure beat ruining a one-of-a-kind ring!

Then it was a simple matter to add outlines and text to annotate the image.

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