Soft to hard#

textile as scaffold

I. About#

Having had done composites before, I was really interested in working with other types of techniques.

II. Sugar gauze#



I followed the recipe listed in our class notes for the sugar mixture. However after keeping a toothpick submerged in the mixture for over 24 hours no crystals appeared on the toothpick only a thin, ice-like layer on top of the mixture.

So I upped my sugar quantity by .75 cups. This resulted in a very thick sugar mixture. Instead of using just a toothpick I decided to submerge gauze into my mixture. The thicker mixture started crystallizing almost instantly. Crystals formed everywhere, including the gauze.


The results were pretty satisfying. The crystals formed around an intricately folded piece of gauze.

Future developments#

The transformation of the billowing gauze into a rigid structure inspired me to try a range of other materials. Particularly moss and a piece of sea fan.

II. Drystone marble#

Inspired by Tauba Auerbach’s marble paintings I wanted to create a bi-colored drystone sample that mimicked the texture. Using a method devised by Anthony Pearson I mixed a white drystone mixture and a light purple one using Rit fabric dye.



I’ve previously worked with hydro and drystone and was really surprised to see the material at Marianne Boesky Gallery last fall. Fortunately the press release contained a good amount of information on Anthony Pearson’s method. I tried to replicate his process by using embroidery rings as my mold.

Pouring the white and tinted compounds into the rings taught with fabric, I was able to create some striations however I quickly found that the pigment didn’t take to the drystone particularly well. In fact most of the purple coloring floated to the top.


I was able to remove the gypsum cement pretty easily from the textile. Because the sample wasn’t perfectly planar during the drying process the drystone wasn’t distributed evenly. Additionally the top of the sample is bi-tonal, which is kind of nice but definitely not marble.