Suminagashi, meaning "floating ink" in Japanese, is the world’s oldest known surface marbling technique and has long been used to dye paper and fabric with patterns created by pigments floating on water. Since 2009, Pernille Snedker Hansen, founder of Copenhagen-based Snedker Studio
, has been developing her own take on the process, creating wood flooring with the same characteristics as marbled paper.
“I carefully let the colors drip onto the water bath and they spread. When I see something interesting, I capture it by transferring it to paper,” she explains in a video about her Marbelous Wood collection
, a nominee for a Biennial Prize at the Danish Biennial for Crafts and Design
. Hansen, who studied textile design before attending Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
in London, uses paper to test patterns and techniques before dipping wood into the ink bath.
Rather than imitate the grain of the wood with brown dyes, Hansen’s patterns emphasize the structure of plain pine boards with bright colors. “It’s like looking in a microscope and seeing the grain magnified,” she says. “I’m also attracted to the organic and dynamic process, which I’m not completely in control of.” Because each board captures a moment of pattern on the water’s surface, every one is unique.
Hansen talks about her work as a reinterpretation of traditional domestic flooring, the largest wooden surface in most homes. She presented the Marbelous Wood—Refraction collection at Danish Crafts' MINDCRAFT13 exhibition
in Milan during Salone 2013
. Her inspiration included the geometry of traditional parquet floors. “Back then, more importance was attached to the floors,” she says. “My goal is to amplify the way we sense the materials and surfaces in architecture.”<Ones to Watch: Four O Nine Ones to Watch: Studio FM Milano