Primary Tools & Materials:
Water, light table
Additional Tools & Materials: camera, blue food coloring, paint brushes, scanner, inkjet printer, glass pane, paper
To combine Natural Elements and Light Technology - I wanted to play with the idea of strategically dripping water onto a printed letter (under a sheet of glass) lighting it from beneath to see some interesting lighting effects, maybe even some refraction.
I started with a printed B in the typeface Rockwell Bold, and placed it on the surface of my 14"x20" light table with an 8"x10" glass pane on top. I planned to drip the water onto the glass, so I could use the letter underneath as a pattern, then slide it out when I was finished. Using various sized paintbrushes, I dotted water onto the letter, but I found it very difficult to see what I was doing. I had to turn off the lights and look at my work through the reflection of a table lamp on the glass in order to see where I had left a drop and where I hadn't. When I finished my first B, I removed the printed letter underneath and started to take pictures. Unfortunately, this first letter was completely invisible. Even with the light table illuminating the droplets from beneath it was impossible to get a straight-on shot of the letterform. So then I repeated the whole process again, but this time I added a few drops of blue food coloring to my water, so there would be just a hint of color. This did the trick and made it much easier to photograph. Once I had finished taking photos I slid it onto my scanner bed with the lid open, and scanned it just to see what would happen (image 6).
This process resulted in a letter with with lower legibility than some of my previous exercises. The most interesting aspect of this study was the way the angle of the light - either from the light table or from my table lamp - could completely change the way the letter looked. I'm disappointed in the results - first, I had hoped for completely transparent drops, and second, I had hoped for perfectly round dots and mine are all rough, imperfect ovals.