These Painstakingly Hand-Marbled Wooden Designs Swirl with Color

Pernille Snedker Hansen uses an ancient technique to create coiling, colorful amoeba-like designs.

Marbling is a painstaking way to create an image. Artists slowly drip paint onto the surface of a pool of water or other liquid, allowing the paint to become swirling, colorful designs. Then the surface that the design is to be applied to—paper, or perhaps, as in the case of Danish artist Pernille Snedker Hansen, wood—is carefully dipped into the paint, adhering to its surface in an intricate design. "My materials come from [the Turkish marbling technique] Ebru, but the approach is inspired by the Japanese Sumigashi by letting the pattern be created by natural elements like the wind, movement and time,” Snedker Hansen tells The Creators Project. "Instead of manipulating the paint on the water’s surface, it is important to me to let natural circumstances take control of the process and guide the outcome. My visual expression therefore becomes more organic and with a feeling of it still being in motion, in a [state] of constant change."

It’s not uncommon to see old books with marbled cover art, but it was through experimentation that Sndeker Hansen started her wood marbling practice.  "By chance my boyfriend Will Gurley found some floorboards on the street,” she writes. "He sanded them down for me and I dipped them. Immediately it became clear that the inherent ornament of the wood had a nice dialog with the applied marbling pattern. The woodrings/ornament were shining through the applied graphic marbling pattern and it gave an interesting materiality.” Marbling and wood are a perfect pairing, as the concentric circles created with the technique echo the growth rings inside trees.  Snedker Hansen turns her work not just into art but also into gorgeous interior design as marbled wood flooring. "I combined the traditions of marbling from the bookbinding profession with the traditional Scandinavian woodflooring, creating a wooden floor that forms a never-ending array of details and colour combinations as you move across the floorboards. As the eye moves across the floor and further into the horizon, the details blur, which leads to a calmer and more natural, monochrome surface,” she says.

To learn more about Pernille Snedker Hansen’s work, click here.


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