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Piilevä-taiteilijakirja   (Hidden Diatom-artists book)

Rauma Printmakers

Published June 2016


Irene Rogan


Rauma Artists



protest group

Lace Up

Limited Edition Artists'  Book

Hidden Diatom Artist Book has been published.


During the Rauma Residency, Irene collaborated with the Rauma Printmakers to create a book focused on observing diatoms under microscopes and photographing them. This collaboration resulted in an artist book featuring microscope images of marine and freshwater diatoms. The book, titled "Hidden Diatoms," comprises fifteen hand-bound pieces, each containing two original prints from every artist involved. Irene provided an introduction text, while water researcher Dr. Mary-Ann Tiffany contributed a text about diatoms. The participating artists include Mari Aspola, Kirsi Kuusisto, Katariina Mannio, Arja Nummi, Meri Pauniaho, and Heli Väisänen.


The "Hidden Diatoms" book was exhibited at the Rauma Art Museum in October 2016 and at the Emil Cedercreutz Museum in Harjavalta during the spring of 2017. Copies of the book are available for purchase at the Printmakers Studio in Rauma, Finland, and interested buyers in the UK can find contact information on the studio's website.

Passion for Diatoms (book extract)


My passion for microscopic creatures started at an early age looking at pond water under my mother’s microscope. When I started a project studying a eutrophic lake in California I needed to acquire skills with the scanning electron microscope. Upon encountering my first diatom from the lake in SEM and seeing its intricate beauty I was hooked! There were almost 100 species of diatoms in our survey. Several were species new to science. Since then I collect diatoms from all over the world (anywhere I happen to travel).


Some of the exciting discoveries made during this journey are from occasional samples with diatoms caught in the process of dividing. Mature frustules consist of two siliceous valves, somewhat like a glass petri dish with cover, and a number of encircling girdle bands. When a diatom divides each daughter cell acquires one of the mother cell’s valves. Then the resulting two cells each must produce a new matching valve. This can occur in as little as 20 minutes. Under the light microscope the early forming valves can be seen as “ghost-like” specimens resembling the structure of mature valves but with less silica. With luck, specimens at varying stages give clues to the sequence that a particular species lays down its silica.


While diatom are beautiful under the light microscope and have been admired since Victorian times; they are even more exquisite when seen by the scanning electron microscope. At high magnification the surface of the glass shells can mimic floral designs. Although fascinating to scientists, diatoms are also nature’s art at its best. My experience is that the rarely seen immature valves often have stunning geometric designs. For example, below is an image of Asterolampra marylandica and two close-ups of the surface of its forming valve at different stages.

Dr Mary Ann Tiffany

Dr Mary Ann Tiffany

Meet the Printmakers

Rauma, Finland

the printmakers

For sale: This limited edition art book- fifteen  books were  created  with original prints and each print signed. Please go to CONTACT to make enquiries or to purchase an edition.

To find out more about Rauma Printmakers Workshop visit or to purchase a book: and

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