Steven Vander Horck, owner of Madd Marbling, here. My work seeks to juxtapose classic marbling patterns with modern color palettes and design language, drawing inspiration from the colors and contrast of impressionism and early-cubism as well as contemporary visionary artists.
Marbling initially stood out to me as a potential process for recreating vintage drum finishes of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, though my recent work explores how marbled prints translate to usable leather goods like handbags, guitar straps, wallets, and belts. I seek to craft, design, and sew leather products that blend the worlds of art and fashion in unique yet functional ways.
In dissolving the boundaries between art and fashion, I embrace a space where high concept artistic design can exist outside of the gallery, bringing artistic creativity into popular culture and everyday visibility. Adding the component of functionality to my design work cultivates personal interaction with one-of-a-kind art in an attempt to reposition the space in which art is traditionally enjoyed and appreciated.
Painting on Water
Marbling is a monotype printing medium that manipulates paint floated on a liquid surface into patterns and designs. A print of the design is then taken by carefully laying down a medium onto the liquid to capture the paint. The artform dates back to the 13th century and has traditionally been utilized in book binding and the book arts. Since the invention of acrylic paints, marblers have had the opportunity to use these paints with little additives and preperation. I use acrylic paints 99.9% of the time, and stray from acrylic only when painting non-pourus materials.
The printing process is the real challenge. Although the results can be beautiful when disturbing the surface, I love the challenge of capturing the designs I create just as they appear.
In order to accurately capture the designs that float in the tray, I must carefully lay the medium onto the liquid surface by hand without making waves or capturing air bubbles, as those will alter the print.
My marbled papers explore the relationship between pattern making and fine art. Using high resolution scanning and sublimation, I am able to reproduce my best works into a collection of carefully curated goods.
Leather has quickly become my favorite material to marble. After the leather is marbled and finished, I craft, design, and sew all my leather products from scratch, blending the worlds of art and fashion in unique yet functional ways.