Tag Archives: workshops

Marbling Workshop: Results

In a previous blog, I talked about the marbling workshop on April 22nd.  It was a great success and I was pleased to have participants so excited about marbling.  In fact, everyone came back for an Open Studio session.  In spite of being able to produce a sheet of marbled paper in a 15 minute “make it and take it”,  marbling really does take a few days to begin to be in control. I love it when people enjoy something enough to be willing to put more time into learning the craft.  I also enjoy the Open Studio idea, where I can work with people  without a formal structure. What follows is a lot of photos and brief comments on the workshop. Photos are thanks to Julia Hardy, who became my assistant for this class.

In the few days before the workshop,  I stumbled through a bit of a nightmare of logistics.  In the space of three days, the class went from six participants to five to four, up to six again and then back to four.  Workshops are not like lectures where you can just add a couple of extra chairs.  Marbling stations have to be set up with tools, paint, trays and carrageenan.  Space is tight in my studio and six participants, plus a demonstration table for me was an interesting problem in spatial design.  I had everything set up for six, when I heard there would only be four.  This was just the day before the class and too late to unmake the paints or size.  Plenty of supplies for the following week of marbling!

In marbling, there are always alternative ways of doing most everything. I started by demonstrating how to put paint on the carrageenan size with a whisk and by using an eyedropper.  Just to confuse everyone, I also showed how to make the get-gel pattern with a stylus and then with rakes.  Each type of pattern was printed for reference. The class went right to work, preparing the paper, throwing paint, creating marbled patterns and printing them.

Before breaking for lunch, we examined all the wonderful paper that was drying, seeing what worked and where there were problems.  I was very pleased with what was accomplished in just a few hours. By the end of the day, great papers were being produced.

By mid-afternoon we needed a break and looked at different types of patterns, overmarbling and marbling on printed paper. I hope the students were inspired to keep thinking about new ways to look at marbling.

Great class, fun time, all supervised by my assistant, Lucy.

Lucy, marbling supervisor

Lucy, marbling supervisor

Saturday and Sunday were Open Studio days and I marbled along with the students.  Since then, I’ve been trying to use up as much of the paint and carrageenan as possible and have been playing as well as cleaning up.  I can’t believe how long that takes!  My studio is slowly transforming itself back into a book workshop and my marbling space is getting back into its usual configuration.  I’ve already heard from people that want me to have another workshop,  maybe in July or August if my supervisor approves.


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Beads in Flame, Addendum

Here are the photos I promised from the bead course. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of people working on beads or lit torches.  That part is left to your imagination!

This is the enameling & glass studio, rustic on the outside and packed on the inside. There are eight student stations with a touch in front of each.  The crock pot in the center of the table is used to keep small beads warm until they can be annealed in a kiln. Large beads go directly into the kiln.

After the beads are formed on the mandrels, they are placed in the annealing kiln, which is kept at 950F until full and then allowed to slowly cool overnight.  In the morning, the kiln is opened and the beads removed like a bouquet of blooms. Beads are removed from the mandrels, cleaned and made into jewelry or just admired.

Final showing before leaving for home.

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Around the World in Marbling

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog.  My only excuse it that I’ve been busy, busy, busy. I was away from home for a month, enjoying Washington DC, North Carolina and Texas. They all deserve separate blogs, but I probably won’t do that!  I’m going to start with the great time I had back at the John C. Campbell Folk School.

At the Folk School, I took a great marbling course with Pat Thomas.  The theme of the week was “Marbling Around the World” and we tried marbling techniques from various countries.  Japan was the first stop and I tried suminagashi marbling for the first time. It is done with Japanese ink on plain water and gives very different patterns than the usual marbling. The ink is loaded on  brushes and the tip of the bush just touches the water, leaving a bit of ink. Concentric circles are formed by repeated brush touches in the same place.  Once there is enough ink floating on the water, the surface is rippled by blowing on it or by waving a fan lightly over the surface.  There are YouTubes showing Japanese masters making all sorts of designs, even landscapes.  I made lots of circles and a few designs that began to look like something from dreams or nightmares.

As you can see, the colors are faint and look rather like topographic maps. Clicking on the thumbnails helps.  Much more practice is needed for this.


There were five people in the workshop, so there was plenty of space for everyone. Here is the room set-up showing the marbling stations and the drying racks.

Our next stop was Turkey and into the classic stone and get-gel patterns.

Then on to Spain for some Spanish ripple.

I like some of the 3-D effects this produces, but I need more practice to be able to produce nice even rolls every time. We also did the New Jersey ripple, but mine was a total mess.  I’ll try it again in my next marbling session (probably after New Years) and show you what it’s supposed to look like, with luck.

France was represented by the nonpareil and French curl patterns.


We did a lot of overmarbling, both plain and with masks, but I’m going to save that for a separate blog.

Here’s my pile of papers. Now I have to figure out what to do with all of them.  Fun times ahead!

All in all, a great time was has by everyone.




Filed under Marbled Paper