bookbinding
 

Vol.II Paper Marbling, all the tips and tricks of years marbling paper (including book edge marbling)

This tutorial contains everything you need to know to get good results, having said that, paper marbling is a wayward art and a lot will depend on your local conditions, temperature, humidity, water etc. But it's all here.

If you feel that you might be suffering from the particular illness that causes people to want to take up paper marbling, then this tutorial will give you many shortcuts to success.

I used to use ox gall, I made my own, which meant trips to the slaughterhouse to collect the gall bladders of freshly slaughtered cattle, I neither enjoyed the trips nor the method of extracting and processing the gall, it came as a great relief when I found a household substitute for it...this and many other tips are contained in the tutorial.

marbling book edges

Included is the best source of fresh carrageen moss I have found, plus an online source of Alum, a description of how to make some of the more esoteric combs used in marbling, how to produce the Spanish Wave pattern (examples shown below) and a section on book edge marbling.

To treat the edges of books and produce matching end-papers you only need a small tray and little equipment, a bindery could do a lot worse than learn this skill, it gave us an edge as binders, as I have said, very few binders still do it and it cannot be convincingly faked.

 

 

Right at the start let me explain that we will be talking about paper marbling with acrylic colours...why? Because I got fed up with the characteristics of ordinary gouache or artists water colour, when you rubbed the sheets, loose pigment would come off on your fingers, you had to treat the papers with beeswax in order to make the colours fast, and even then the colours would still come off on the customers hands when the book was handled extensively.

With acrylic colours the result is not only a paper whose colours are absolutely fast, but the use of such colours makes the sheet damp proof, you can wipe them over with a damp cloth with no ill effect.

Marbling with acrylics differs from marbling with gouache or artists water colour pigments in several ways. With gouache or water colours, it is necessary to add a spreading agent to the colours to make them spread on the surface of the size.

If you were to drop a small amount of gouache or water colour on the size without this spreading agent, the drop of colour would simply sink straight to the bottom of the tank, with a drop or two of spreading agent added instead of sinking, the spreading agent breaks the surface tension of the size allowing the colour to spread on the surface. The more spreading agent...the more the colour spreads and the less pigment their will be in a given area, and the paler the colour will appear, thus giving you control over how intense or pale your colours are. 

 

Below you can see some examples of a design known as the Spanish Wave, surely some of the most beautiful patterns to be obtained through this art.

paper marbling

 

Here are some pictures of the process's involved.

colours used in marblingapplying alum prior to marbling paper

how to marble papermarbling book edges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  The techniques behind book edge marbling.

 

If you wish to download the manual please just click here.

 

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