Monday, July 14, 2014
Marbling Fabric = Science Art
My newest Etsy listings for marbled fabric mention that I have a deep creative interest in science, namely biology. Astronomy and geology rank a tight second. I am fascinated with natural design with fractals and interconnected patterns, fluid dynamics, repetition and shapes/structures. Patterns and designs that can are similar in minute and large scales are very appealing to me. If you open a random biology, zoology or other related natural science textbook, you'll see images that can be achieved in a myriad of way artistically, including illustration, painting, or achieved through the "random" use of paint on a liquid.
Marbling fabric is my way of satisfying my need to see natural forces at work with little control from my end. This is where fluid dynamics and chemistry come to play. The final image is where a moment of movement is frozen in time and preserved. And that's where one of the hardest parts of marbling come in....knowing when to stop adding dye, stop swirling, stop manipulating, and drop the fabric down. It is a most gratifying activity, and it's amazing to see what manifests when I know darn well I couldn't have invented it in my head first. I can visualize (which is a foundation of creating), but I never know how it will end up looking. Typically when I pull the fabric up off of the base medium, the first thing that comes out of my mouth is "Holy s#%t, that is AMAZING!" Every time.
Here is a video from Interweave that skipped the prep work and goes straight to the fun part of marbling fabric.
Below are images of my own marbled fabrics. These pieces really are little works of art, created by the Universe with a little nudge from me. If they were hand-designed, painted, illustrated or otherwise created using paint from a brush, a marker or another slow process, they'd be very laborious, thus very expensive. The fact that it's on fabric adds another dimension of longevity and use...if it gets damp, it won't be destroyed. It can be sewn, embroidered, embellished, over-dyed, quilted, or otherwise altered by an artist who needs a framework or base to work from. They can also be framed as they are. If you are interested in seeing more photographs of each of these and designs not shown here, click on the photos to go straight to the Etsy listings. Purchasing is possible there. If the act of marbling fabric interests you, there are lots of sites and books out there to help. I highly recommend you do it outside or on concrete floors. Give yourself a whole day to it to really immerse yourself into it. Pun intended!