Clayton Art Fair

Ferro-graphics

Today, we went to the Clayton art fair. We walked there from home, which considering the day’s mid-eighties temperature might have been a bit too much. Anne wore her new full-length dress that got her a cute girl complement, before we even got out of our neighborhood. Unfortunately, it was a bit too long for her, because while walking over to the art-fair, she stubbed her foot on a heaved section of sidewalk, tripped and fell, scrapping both palms and one arm. She was a little shaken but wanted to still press on and not turn back.

Arriving at the fair, which is held in downtown Clayton, our first order of business was to get something cold and wet to drink. The fair’s beverage booths were mainly setup to serve alcohol or bottled water, neither of which were very appealing to either of us. We ducked into a Starbuck and scored a pair of Mango Dragon-fruit Lemonades, which are a hideous purplish pink color that just screamed its desire to spill out of their cups and stain our clothes. Anyway, it was just what the doctor ordered. We toured the fair sucking on our drinks and baking in the heat. Most artists had signs in their booths proclaiming their desire that customers should not take photographs of their work without permission, which I respected, as much as it pained me, because there was a lot of great art.

It is a juried fair, but it does have a small section dedicated to emerging artists. There we met Mike McHaney, who is a local. He is a photographer, but his work is quite unique. His macro-photography is of ferrous fluids, which is basically oil with tiny iron nanoparticles suspended in it. He then applies a powerful rare earth magnet that causes the ferrous fluid to form tiny sharp spikes that follow the magnet’s field. In the GIF below, he is blowing on this fluid to further animate it. The fluid is jet black, but by using various lighting techniques he can create photos with lots of amazing colors in them. This is his secret sauce.

After this demonstration, we were about done. We were going to call an Uber, but they had jacked up their rates, so it would have cost us fifty dollars to ride the two miles home. So, we trudged home on foot. When we were about halfway home and far enough from the fair, I checked their rates again and they had dropped to ten dollars, but by then we only had a mile to go. We eventually made it back home, hot, a little weary and a little banged up too.

Ferrous Fluid

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