Ebru, turkish for cloud, is a word linked to the ancient beginnings of marbling. The process of floating ink on water and manipulating to form intricate patterns is the definition of marbling.
For twenty years I have been a marbler and have collected marbled books and other related ephemera for the same amount of time.
I have personally marbled textiles ,wood, leather and paper used for lampshades and bookbinding.
Marbled books are predominant on my bookshelves. Most of the leather bound marbled books are from England or Italy where the art is still very popular.
This small chest was created by the Italian marblers of Il Papiro in Florence where the ancient art still thrives.
After purchasing these lithographs in Paris, I marbled paper to add to the matting before framing.
Here, I am demonstrating the process, using acrylic paints floating on a bath of carrageenan (Irish sea moss)which thickens the water and allows the paint colors to float separately without blending.
The circles of paint are coaxed with chopsticks and feathers into intricate patterns with names such as Icarus wings, Spanish moire, get-gel and nonpareil.
I love the way the pattern wraps around dimensional objects. Wooden eggs, spheres, apples and pears take on kaleidoscope designs when immersed in the marbling vat.
When transferring to paper, the process becomes a monoprint. Offset paper is often used after a layer of alum is applied with a sea sponge to prevent bleeding of colors.
When my husband gave me this wonderful murano glass bowl, I filled it with spheres I made marbled in a nonpareil pattern.
It is rare to find books with marbled pages as well as the covers. They were much harder to produce, getting the pattern to print on just the edges without ruining the print inside.
Small collections look fabulous set on marbled books. This is a cloisonne collection I have set on a pattern of Spanish moire.
Old ledger boxes covered in stone patterns make me giddy! I think the art of marbling adds a nice touch of history and artistic design to any home. Does anyone else share my passion with the art of marbling? Do you own any forms of this ancient art?