Saturday, February 7, 2009

Featured Seller: PersistentGreen

I've read about marbling paper in a book I bought recently called Paper Transformed which details many ways to alter paper using chemicals, paints, and other materials to get various effects. I personally have not tried, it, but I admire the work other artists do using this process. One thing I enjoy about where I work is looking at the old books in our library's storage area. Many of the covers are wrapped in marbled paper, and they are too old to have been made commercially. The designs are absolutely amazing.

Paper marbling is a process which involves floating various pigmented substances, oftentimes ink or paint, on the surface of water in a tub. Designs are drawn into the colors and a piece of paper is laid overtop of it. The paper picks up the color and once it dries it has a pattern that resembles marble stone.
For today's Featured Seller, I will be showing you some work by Etsy artist Amanda of PersistentGreen who makes and uses her own marbled papers (shown in photo above). Amanda uses a modern method of marbling which involves liquid starch, powdered alum and acrylic paint to create her wild and bright marbled papers. After discovering this more approachable and affordable alternative to traditional marbling techniques, she was addicted!

Amanda uses her own marbled papers for journal covers, as seen at right. I love how the limited use of colors can produce such varied effects and designs. They are simple in color, but complicated in design and make perfect journal covers or endpapers. She also makes unique cards from the marbled paper in color combinations as varied as the uses for paper--from yellow and blue and green to chocolate brown and cherry red.

If you want to try paper marbling at home, here's how! There are many different methods and materials available for marbling paper. There are several variations in Paper Transformed. The one I will detail here is a basic water marbling technique.

You will need:
*watercolor or rice paper
*two or three colors of watercolor paints, or dry pastels or powdered tempera paints
*mordant solution
*glass baking dish

First, spray the paper with the mordant solution and allow it to air dry completely. Then fill the dish with water until it is just covering the bottom.

Prepare the paints, making sure they are very dense. You don't want them watered down. Then drop the paints into the water and lightly swirl them. Don't do this too much or the paints will mix into the water and the design will be lost. If you are using pastels, just scrape the pastels with a knife or scissors into the water. For powdered tempera, just sprinkle the powder into the water.

Immediately press the sheet of paper into the bottom of the dish until it is wet, then lift it out starting from one end and moving to the other. Lay the paper paint-side-up on a towel to let it dry completely. After it is dried, you can flatten it out using an iron on low heat.

No comments: