Marbling Madness

Marbling Madness

Over the years, I’ve explored a number of different printmaking practices – paste paper, monoprinting, relief printing (aka stamp carving).  This spring, I added a new one to my toolkit – the ancient Turkish art form of paper marbling.  I took a truly fantastic and soul-full online class with artist, Barb Skoog, called Clouds on Water.  Barb is a passionate marbler who is equally passionate about teaching others to marble – very generous, very knowledgeable, very encouraging and supportive of every student.  The class was well and truly worth every penny and every moment spent.  I learned a ton and thought I’d take a moment to share some of my favorite pieces.

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My first round of printing focused on simple patterns – stones, boulders and gelgit.

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One of the first things I discovered and fell in love with about marbling is that the colors never mix in the tank – as you add new colors, the ones you’ve already thrown move or compress and everything shows, which means no mud – no worries about mixing the “wrong” colors – it’s all play and experimentation and that’s just cathartic for me!

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I also loved moving the paint around with combs and rakes to create patterns.  I’m certainly no master at it, but I love every little nuance – grainy paints, wonky patterns, air bubbles – I don’t care!  Every one is beautiful in some way.  Barb shares a TON of patterns in the class and I worked through every single one, time after time, until I got it right.  I still have a lot of practicing to do – maybe that’ll be my next 100 journey! 😉

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The BIG revelation for me was over-marbling!  The idea was to take marbled prints you didn’t like and marble on top.  I did some of that and loved it, but what really stole my heart was over-marbling on Gelli® prints!  Several of those shown above were on top of leaf prints – beautiful in their own right, but even more lovely with the marbling on top!  LOTS of books are getting made out of these babies (and lots more Gelli® print over-marbling is in my future)!!

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I love marbling so much, I’m even rearranging the studio (yet again) to make room for it to be a permanent part of my art life!  Cleaning, clearing, making space for something new – I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be finished with that, ever settle on a firm set of art practices?  Perhaps not – and I’m okay with that!

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