My daughter (age 5) and I have been experimenting with techniques very loosely adapted from suminagashi, the Japanese traditional art of making monoprints from ink floating on water. Similar to other paper marbling processes, pigments layered in succession on water produce a graphic effect that evokes the striations of colour found in sedimentary rock. It’s a captivating activity for kids and adults.
Our daughter-mother team stopped short of applying paper to the surface of the water to transfer the pigments. We were so mesmerized by the movement and vividness of the water surface that we experimented with this stage of the process and took videos and photos instead. I find it fascinating that a thin layer of pigment on water, shaped by the mechanics of surface tension, can emulate a rocky material. It also brings to mind architectural or anatomical sections, which are cuts (similar to a sliced geode or quarried marble), but adds movement to the equation.
(Image: Anne Ehrlich)