One of the things that seems to hold people up when trying to build their cymatics device is difficulty in finding and purchasing the latex needed to create a membrane on the top of their device.
So I have decided to created a post dedicated to helping you to locate and procure your latex so that you can build your own DIY cymatics device with no problem. Latex is used on many of the cymatics devices, such as the cymatics voicebox pictured here, to create a highly responsive resonant surface for salts and sand to sit on, which then is vibrated by the sound from below.
Here is how to order and use latex for your DIY cymatics device:
1. Order your latex online.
This is the best resource for links that I have found for latex suppliers: http://makinglatexclothing.com/links Go to one of those sites, and you will be able to order your latex. There are not a lot of suppliers in the US, most are in Europe, but there are a couple and you can find them by looking over the list here.
A couple of things to keep in mind when ordering you latex are, there are many colors, thicknesses and sizes to choose from. For the length and width, measure the top of the device you want to put your latex over, and make sure that the latex you order is at least 3 inches wider all around so that you have enough material for draping over the sides and attaching.
When choosing the thickness of the latex, I would go with the thinner options, for example .45mm You can choose other thicknesses, if the sizes listed on the site are confusing, simply email or call them and tell them you want something in the range of balloon latex.
2. Apply the latex to your device.
Latex is usually used to cover the top of a resonant chamber for a cymatics device. The top of the device may be square (for example if you are building a cymatic voicbox) or it may be round (in the case of a cymatic sounder). You will be stretching the latex over the top of the device, and fastening it down on the sides to create a drum-like surface.
Here are the things to keep in mind when stretching latex and covering the top of any cymatics device:
Use tape or rubber bands, or some type of fastener that will not pierce the latex. If you use nails, staples or anything else that pierces it, it will end up splitting the latex and coming apart.
Stretch your latex over the top of the opening evenly and firmly, with a good stretch in the surface for tension, but not too tight (or again it may split the latex). A good technique to use is that you would use for stretching a canvas over stretcher bars, as shown.
So that is how you get latex for DIY cymatics devices. Do you have other questions about building your own cymatics devices? Write in on the comments below, and I will be happy to answer them. I may even make a video and post the answer on the Journal!
P.S. If you would like step-by-step instructions for a cymatics voicebox that you can play your voice or other music into you can find them here. For instructions on how to make a cymatic sounder (tonascope) you can download them here.