Sunday, October 23, 2011

Paper Marbleizing

This is one of my favorite things to do! In this class we used a carageenan size and acrylic paints to create
  marbleized paper.

You will need:

- a blender (this does not have to be an art only blender as carageenen is edible)
- water
- 2-4 large flat containers (we used old baking pans and dish pans. These need to be dedicated to art since we are using acrylic paints) you will need one for the size and one for clean rinse water at each station you set up.
- various acrylic paints watered down
- pick type combs, skewers to move paint around
- white card stock or other heavy paper
- spray bottle of vinegar

The process:
To make the size (the medium that will hold the paint) blend 4-5 cups water with 1 Tbsp Carageenan for one minute. Pour this mixture into a clean bucket that has a lid and repeat. Next add 4 cups water to your blender and mix for one minute to clean out the last of the carageenan (you will still want to clean your blender as usual after this last step). Add this last batch of water to your bucket and stir and place the lid on. Let size mature for about 24 hours stirring about every 8 hours.

To make the paints: in small containers such as the cups you see us using mix acrylic paints with water in a nearly 1 to 1 ratio. This part can be a bit tricky and it is best to just test the paint in the size to see if the mixture is too thin (disperses immediately on the surface), too thick (sinks immediately to the bottom), or just right (staying on the surface of the size dispersing slowly).

To set up a marbleizing station you will need one pan filled about 1 inch deep with the carageenan size. Next to this pan you will need a second pan filled with a few inches of clean rinse water. Have your paints and combs and stick nearby as well as a stack of prepared papers.

To prepare the paper put and X or your initials on one side of the paper and spray the other side EVENLY with vinegar. The vinegar is a non toxic way to help the paper pick up the paint during the process. Some recipes call for Alum which is not very kid friendly.
Lay the paper vinegar side down in a clean area next to your marbleizing station. You will want to prepare a few pages at a time (we did 3 each as we were taking turns, as it got close to our next turn we prepared 3 more) just before you are ready to dip your papers.

1. Take your prepared paints and begin dripping them into the size. 2-3 colors at a time works nicely. It would be helpful to have droppers for this process for a bit more control.

2. Next take your stick or comb and swirl/marble the paint on the surface of the size.

3. Carefully place your prepared paper vinegar side down on top of the paint. Lower your paper by holding two opposite corners with your finger tips. Once the paper is on the size gently make sure each corner touches the surface.

4. Pull the paper out drawing it by corners across the size and out.

5. Immediately place print into clean water bath and gently swirl water over the top of the print to remove any remaining carageenan. Do not keep it in there too long as the paper gets more fragile the more wet it becomes. * It also works well to run the print under running water if available.

6. Oooh and Awww over your cool magical print and carefully bring it to the drying area (you will need lots of space to dry papers... once you get started it is hard to quit!!)

7. One final note, in between students or color transitions you can "clean" the size by placing an untreated sheet of copy paper on the surface and move it around until you feel all the paint has been picked up. This paper can be discarded (we saved some by washing and drying them because they ended up printing pretty cool as well - you never know when you will need that perfect background paper!)

Once your papers are dry you can use them for just about anything- collage work, book making, card making, backgrounds for drawings and paintings, etc.

Here are a few of our finished pieces.

We discovered that interesting prints can be made by simply pouring and printing... no marbleizing required!

Here you can see the effect of using the comb rather than a single stick to swirl the paint.

Some of our paints had a metallic shimmer to them... look how cool that turns out!

1 comment:

  1. All the pictures are perfectly describing the beauty of Aboriginal Art; it’s a very creative field. I usually attend art events whenever it’s organized in my home city. You know it’s my favorite art form and I love to collect paintings of this art form.