Wednesday, August 01, 2012


There are many ways to create marks and shapes onto fabric or paper and most of them I have tried, but today my friend and I used a complete new material: gun powder.
Last year at Art-a-whirl there was an artist who sold panels made using gun powder. A Google search lead to a YouTube video from a Chinese artist who used gun powder as well. Sorry, both names have escaped me. These were the only sources we could find. It is a material I have no idea whether I could find it in the Netherlands, but at the moment I am in the US and here it is easily available.
If you want to try this experiment as well, be careful! Make certain that you have an open space, a bucket of water nearby and no kids or pets close by.
We wanted to experiment both on paper and on fabric. Not knowing whether the effects could be dyed later, we used both white and dyed fabric. As mask we used leaves. The first step was to place a counter top on the driveway, taped some fabric and paper onto it and positioned the leaves. It was rather windy so this was a challenge. Some tape had to be used to keep the leaves where we wanted them.
After that it was time to sprinkle the gun powder. No idea how much had to be used, we tried with just a little bit. Well that was not enough. On the next picture you can see on the yellow fabric that quite a lot of gun powder was needed.
 Placing a layer of fabric on top - or some paper - gave no additional prints. We only tried this once.  All this was covered with an opened card board box. Next step was to set the gun powder a fire. The next picture show what happens when you don't use enough gun powder: not much, only some smoke.
 This picture however showed how the next attempt went:
 The flames really startled me, so I missed to take the picture of the covered layers, I only got the flames.
When the card board box was removed this was how the paper and fabric looked like. And here are two pictures of results which really turned out nicely. The first picture is of a piece of fabric, the second one of a piece of paper. 


meta said...

Wow, Wil, that's quite an experiment!

McIrish Annie said...

wow is right! don't think I'm that adventurous.