Paper marbling


There are various methods of marbling, but the one I tried my hand at recently is commonly referred to as Turkish marbling, most likely because the Europeans first came across it in Istanbul. Marbling became widespread in Europe with the development of printing: marbled papers are particularly popular as endpapers in bookbinding. To make the marbled pattern, a tray is filled with size, and colour is added using whisks made from a millet broom. The colour, which floats on the surface, is manipulated using rakes and combs, and is transferred to paper which has been treated with alum to make it absorbent. Most interesting are the pattern names: stone, nonpareil, waved get gel, flame, gothic, feathered chevron, reverse bouquet, American, cathedral, fountain. It must take a great deal of expertise to get them right. Mine ended up with names like accident and experiment!

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