Two weeks ago it warmed up enough for me to contemplate descending into my basement, standing on a cement floor and putting my hands into water. In other words, to do some marbling. I made my carrageenan the night before, set up all the trays, paints and paraphernalia, alummed my paper and dove in. I was planning on doing some large monochromatic sheets, like I had done last year with smaller pieces. Yellow and red were the colors I chose and planned to mix orange. Orange is the only secondary color that I have had consistently good results mixing for marbling. Those were the plans, anyway!
The first sheet I pulled had some line problems, the second caught a big air bubble, the third developed alum striping — and on and on it went. I know it had been a long time since I had marbled, but this was ridiculous. Of the eight or ten sheets I pulled that first day, only one or two were good. On top of that, I wasn’t really happy with the color combinations. The second day was a bit better, but still way too many sheets that had major flaws so on the third day I threw in the towel on my plans, moved to a smaller tray with smaller paper and grabbed the metallic paints and colored paper. A background color can disguise a lot of problems! Things started going more smoothly and I began connecting to the marbling, but I was still frustrated. What I need right now are large perfect sheets, not more small ones. At the end of the session, I started playing. Maybe that’s where I should have started. Here are some pictures of the good, the bad and the ugly!
It’s turned really cold (0* to 10* above) again, so I’ll have to wait for another attempt. Here’s hoping I’ll be right in the grove and pulling perfect sheets every time!
In the meantime, I’ve been playing with some boxes. They are based on the clamshell box used for rare books and for archival storage. This is the first one I’ve finished. I’ve inlaid one of the pieces I enameled last year on the cover. The inside is a four-sided box (book boxes only have three sides) lined with black velvet.
I’m planning a lot more of these as I have quite a few enameled pieces and other treasures for the covers. I just hope people like them!