In recent years, Gray has turned that nerdy/artsy side towards the creation of giant chemical and mathematical quilts. In 2015, Gray and his girlfriend, film director Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues and the upcoming Seder-Masochism), founded PaleGray Labs to promote and sell their textile collaborations — which are available for holiday gift-giving.
The quilts are produced on a giant robotic quilting machine they have dubbed Behemoth. The Quilt Master IV full-frame quilt plotter can sew up to1500 stitches per minute and create intricate designs as large as a king-size bed. When Behemoth is at work, you can even follow along at home via their Stitch Cam.
Naturally, Gray and Paley’s designs are a celebration of their interests. They include animated quilts using a technique Paley calls “embroidermation” — stills, like Muybridge’s famous galloping horse — that when viewed in sequence at a high enough rate of speed turn into animated images.
The chemical quilts feature all your favorite molecules, including caffeine and theobromine (the active ingredient in chocolate). You can also custom order a quilt featuring that very special chemical compound.
The quilts, which start at single squares and panels suitable for wall hangings, can be ordered through the PaleGray Labs website for holiday delivery. Prices range from $100 and up.