Monday, June 7, 2010

Learning to Marble Paper

On this past Friday, with the commitment of strengthening my crafting skills, I ventured to learn how to marblize paper. Gathering with 2 trusted crafters, Monica and Brenda, I invited them to come to my house and I would host our craft day, be responsible for buying the kit, and have everything ready.

My two greatest weaknesses as an artist are reading directions and doing things exact. I have no patience. I like to get the tools and just rip into it. I want to just play and figure things out as I go. This was hard for me.

I bought a $15.00 kit from Texas Arts Supply (Marbling kit by Jacquard). I had to read and reread the instructions 10 times plus, then print out other instructions (from the maven of them all....Martha Stewart), and compare those instructions to these crappy kit instructions that were obviously written by someone who wanted to marblize fabric and not paper (who knew you could do this with fabric?). I went to buy eye droppers and clothespins - the only additional supplies not in the kit. Eye droppers were easy, but luck as I spent 2 minutes describing them to a salesclerk who not only did not know what clothespins were, but still had no idea after my lengthy description. If you see clothespins anywhere, please let me know....I still need some. I mixed all the ingredients, I prepped the paper with one mixture, and mixed a separate concoction for the paint. And I did it. Not only that, but when we got together and tried putting it all together, it worked.

I achieved two things: freedom and capability. Freedom from the fact that this art form is very loosey-goosey. You cannot EVER repeat the same technique as the last the one you previously used, because this is a SKILL. At its finest, you can appreciate that people who do this professionally have come from families that are masters of this art form. They have been teaching and mastering this technique their whole lives. Since I am not an exact person, this type of art was wonderful for me. I could play and just see what happens, because I sure was not going to be able to repeat any of it. I also achieved capability because I faced my weakness of reading directions and going slowly step-by-step. And I enjoyed it. When we had all the pieces laid out and you could see how beautiful they were, I don't think there was one of us who was not just a bit proud.


Katie said...

Oh, that looks like so much fun! I would love to learn how to marble paper. I loved all of the lovely papers that I saw when I studied abroad in Italy a while back, and have more recently been interested in it after seeing the work of this Etsy seller:

Molly Quigley Hughes said...

Katie...thanks for the link. I love that you love this. I think you would like learning this. Like bookbinding, it is something that gets better the more that you do it. glad your craft fair went well. Your pics were great.

Maryellen said...

these are beautiful! Maybe one day Clare and I will tackle this. Do you have abbreviated instructions? Also, clothespins can be found at Ikea (nice brightly colored plastic ones) or traditional wood ones on