Marbled Paper

Techniques for Marbleizing PaperOne of the elements of the handmade Book of the Erinyes will be the use of marbled paper — sometimes on the outside cover, and sometimes on the endpapers/inside cover.

As with all the parts of the book, I’m determined to make it all myself, so I bought myself a copy of Techniques for Marbleizing Paper by Gabriele Grünebaum.

First I made an alum solution, using 6 teaspoons of Alum in 450ml of water. The alum solution works as a mordant — it fixes the marbling colours onto the surface of the paper. After bringing the solution to the boil then letting it cool, I sponged it liberally onto a number of sheets of paper then left them overnight to dry.

The next day I prepared the marbling size, using 6 teaspoons of Carragheen Moss Powder dissolved in 4 pints of hand-hot water, and left it to cool before starting some experiments, following the patterns in Gabriele Grünebaum’s book.

I decided to use Acrylic Inks — they don’t require any dispersing agent to be added for marbling, and the pigments are strong enough to retain a good strong colour even when spread across the surface of the size. The ones I bought come with pipettes in the lids of the bottles, which made the process even easier.

I was fairly pleased with the results, but I’m obviously going to have to get a lot more practice to control the process.

Nonpareil pattern:

marble paper 1

Nonpareil pattern:

marble paper 2

Wavy Combed:

marble paper 3