Losing my marbles

This weekend I did something I've been meaning to do for years - over fifteen, in fact. I have marbled paper on many occasions, but always under another's watchful eye (read: someone else set the whole thing up, I just threw pretty paints on the water). Finally, FINALLY, I decided to wait no longer - as a birthday present to myself, I splurged on trays and paints, alum and oxgall, irish moss and a blender, eye droppers and clothespins. I covered the floor in plastic sheeting, hung a 50' clothesline across the studio and back, then invited Kelly of May Day Studio to drive all the way from Vermont and share with me a weekend-long journey into the world of unsupervised paper marbling. {click here for Kelly's post of the weekend}

Jesse from Firefly Press braved torrential downpours, and even Kathleen, the designer at Taza tore herself away from the scintillating aroma-liciousness of churning chocolate to play in our buckets of moss-water.

Still in the experimental phase, some of our colors dripped to the bottom (orange and navy blue were particularly prone to this problem). Here's the before and after six hours of marbling and dragging a shish-kebob stick through the size.

Kelly and some of our first soggy attempts hanging on the lines behind.

Our techniques were much improved by day two...

... so we played with color, design and technique with more confidence (if not always success). This line has some of my absolute favorites from the entire weekend.

A "stone" pattern with spanish marble (waves).

Kelly was totally down with the purple/green combos - so cool.

Giant stones, and a pair of orange monster eyes!

A blue-hued feather pattern on a fabriano tiziano paper.

It made all the difference marbling ensemble, chatting about printing and Paris (when isn't it a good time to discuss Paris?), and stealing ideas, colors and techniques from one another. Kelly tended towards the purples and greens (did I mention, how cool?) and lots of bright dense stone patterns. Jesse was a swirl lover. I myself liked the controlled patterns and giant concentric rings - and was the designated master of the spanish marble.

There are plenty of things that didn't go quite rightly (colors that spread too much was the biggest), but this notwithstanding, I definitely forsee more marbling in my future.

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