Artist creates gorgeous patterned textiles from rain

America has quit the Paris climate agreement and today’s newsfeeds are bloated with global reaction. Shell Oil CEO Ben van Beurden joined green industrialists Elon Musk and Richard Branson in denouncing Trump’s action. The Vatican lobbed a complaint, saying, “”Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round.”  It’s surreal, and scary.  Let’s take momentary refuge in some natural beauty created by some of the weather we’re about to see more of. 

Hague-based designer Aliki van der Kruijs allows rain to create gorgeous abstract patterns on specially treated silk and cotton fabrics.  She’s no fashionista, this is her effort to archive the weather as it undergoes change.

A lifelong Netherlands native, van der Kruijs has noticed that national rainfall is becoming heavier, warmer, and more frequent. Her project, named Enter By Rain, creates printed textiles that are the fingerprints of actual rain.

“Weather data comes in statistics and I wanted to create a more visual way of archiving weather,” van der Kruijs says in a video explaining the project. “I see the textiles as documents–they’re all unique.”

Working on the rooftop of her Amsterdam studio, she uses two distinct techniques to create what she calls a “textile register of rainfall in a specific location.” One process involves laying a water-soluble ink sheet atop an expanse of white silk fabric placed on her flat roof. When rain hits the ink sheet, pigment bleeds onto the underlying white fabric. Her second technique uses fabric already impregnated with ink., which pools in different intensities when saturated by raindrops. Van de Krujis named her process “pluviagraphy” (drawing with rain).

Regardless of which process she chooses, the fabric is limited to a five minute exposure to rain. She then applies a fixative that permanently preserves the resulting patterns. Each fabric print is tagged with the geographic coordinates of where it was created, the amount of rainfall it received, and the date, making it a tactile and visual marker of a particular moment in place and time.

“I hope that with the textiles I make, people get a new awareness of rain and a new relationship to the environment,” she says in her video. (Link to video here.)

The artist  has made raindrop infographic in Europe, Japan, and China, with a wider goal of making a world atlas of rain.

made by rainCheck out the images f her work on her tumblr.  She also pops up in boutiques selling the fabric as scarves and shawls. Currently, find her textiles stitched into bedding at Zig Zag Zurich.

Today’s news from Trump have me wondering if the technique also works with human tears.

Images from the artist’s tumblr page

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