Rainworks

The invisible sidewalk ink puts a positive spin on the gloomy weather.

Seattle may not be America's rainiest city, but it's certainly up there. That wetness, coupled with the dreariness of what seems to be an eternally grey sky, could get a little depressing.

But instead of staying cooped up next time it rains, maybe listening to Death Cab for Cutie because gloomy weather requires channeling high school angst, Seattle locals should consider going for a walk. You might stumble onto a "Rainworks" creation around the city—street art made from a sort of invisible ink that only appears when it's wet.

Like so:

(Courtesy of Rainworks)

Local magician Peregrine Church has created 25 to 30 such "rainworks" around town, with more to come. He hopes the sidewalk messages will bring a little cheer to people who are sick of the blah weather.

"It's sort of the ideal Seattle art," Church says in an introductory video. "It's going to rain no matter what. Why not do something cool with it?"

To write their messages, Church and his friend Xack Fischer spray a biodegradable, environment-friendly, water-repellant coating onto the sidewalk through a stencil. When it rains, the surrounding concrete gets wet, but the sprayed bit of concrete stays dry. Take a look:

(All images courtesy of Rainworks/Peregrine Church)

And here's a video showing how the artists use their invisible ink:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Multicolored maps of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tampa, denoting neighborhood fragmentation
    Equity

    Urban Neighborhoods, Once Distinct by Race and Class, Are Blurring

    Yet in cities, affluent white neighborhoods and high-poverty black ones are outliers, resisting the fragmentation shown with other types of neighborhoods.

  2. Design

    There’s a Tile Theft Epidemic in Lisbon

    With a single azulejo fetching hundreds of euros at the city’s more reputable antique stores, these tiles, sitting there out in the open, are easy pickings.

  3. A photo of a new subdivision under construction in South Jordan, Utah.
    Perspective

    A Red-State Take on a YIMBY Housing Bill

    Utah’s SB 34, aimed at increasing the state’s supply of affordable housing, may hold lessons for booming cities of the Mountain West, and beyond.

  4. Design

    The Curious Politics of a Montreal Mega-Mall

    The car-dependent suburb it’ll be built in wants to greenlight Royalmount against the city government’s wishes but it needs them to pay for the public infrastructure.

  5. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.