Monday, January 10, 2011

The Joys of Marbling Paper

You may remember way back when I mentioned that my department at work would be having a special fun day in December, just before the holidays. And, that said "fun day" would be coordinated by yours truly and would consist of marbling paper. Well, the "fun day" came and went. It was a complete success and a whole lot of fun! I, myself, marbled over 80 sheets of paper (because I'm crazy and came in on Sunday to do some off-the-clock marbling). I apologize for not posting this sooner, but what with the holidays and all that nonsense these pictures kind of got lost in the shuffle. But here you are, without further ado...Preservation Services does paper marbling:

Marbled papers hanging to dry in one of our storage rooms. Once the pages are printed they are then rinsed off with water, to remove excess bath/size, and therefore must dry for some time.

One of our students, Katie, applying color to her bath using a whisk. The watercolor pigments (that have been mixed with oxgall, allowing them to not blend together) are applied to the bath (containing a thick mixture of water and carragheenan [Irish moss]) using a whisk or eye dropper. They sit on the surface of the bath, where you can leave them as is or manipulate them using a stylus or various rakes or combs.

Another student, Laura, manipulating the pigment in her bath into little Christmas trees using a knitting needle (aka a stylus).

Another student, Molly, pulling her paper out of the bath. Once you've created your desired pattern, you carefully place a piece of paper (previously treated with aluminum sulfate) onto the bath. The pigments sticks to the paper and VOILA, you have marbled paper!

Our department head, Holly, using a stylus to manipulate the pigments.

Another student, Samantha, forms her pattern using an awl.

Holly, again, picking up her printed page from her bath.

Lucy, one of our fabulous volunteers, carefully applying pigment to the bath. Notice how she's holding her whisk higher in the air as she applies her pigment, this creates smaller drops of pigment, aka stones.

Pat, a fellow staff member, uses an awl to make little heart patterns.

Our part-time conservator, Gabrielle, made some very bold, holiday-inspired patterns.

Here's a picture of Laura using a rake to create a very uniform pattern.

Stay tuned tomorrow for pictures of the the finished products!

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