This weekend my daughter was playing with bubbles in the backyard. Earlier this year at CORE Gallery, another artist, Keunae Song, had an exhibition of bubbles on glass. Her exhibition included glass objects with evidence of bubbles on them and videos of the bubbles popping on the glass.
|iron bubble plate|
I assume her bubble mixture included enamel or frits or paint because the result was a permanent record of the bubbles on the glass object. After seeing Song's work, I wanted to try recording bubbles too. I've done bubble paint projects with kids before, including my own (this stuff is unbelievably messy--stay away).
|bubble plate production set up|
|first bubbles popped|
Initially, I tried mixing some underglaze into a small canister of bubbles, but it was grainy and wouldn't stay mixed. Once my daughter got involved, I added some iron oxide to a small cup of bubble mix and just kept stirring. I blew a few bubbles but my control of the bubble cup was quickly usurped. I was relegated to bringing more plates out to the bubble blower.
|more bubbles falling|
This process was fun to watch. I tried to take some pictures to capture the fun of the bubbles landing, then popping. It seemed that big bubbles that stayed on the surface for a while before popping yielded the darkest circles of color. (Perhaps because the color had time to settle to the bottom of the bubble, rather than being sent up into the air with the force of the early pop?)
The plates collected their fair share of extra splatter from the iron and bubble mixture. We tried some cups but they tended to have lines running down the sides when drips landed on the surface and weren't able to dry quickly.
|the one in the middle popped|
|the set on the top popped|
This process could conceivably work with other colorants, but I would question the inclusion of a kid once the colorants became more potent. This kid was old enough to know not to suck on the bubbles, but there was still airborne iron/bubble mix in the air when they popped and knees and hands still needed to be washed afterwards. Iron speckles are almost indistinguishable from freckles, by the way.
|iron bubble wand in action|