Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"The Art of Marbling"

I would love to share with you my new series of art using the Marbling technique of ancient times.
I hope that you enjoy my recent art images:

  A Bit of Marbling History

The art of marbling was started in the 1100's, either in Turkey or Persia, though the earliest marbled papers still in existence are Turkish ones from the 1400's. They were used for decorative purposes, and also as a background for official documents and signatures, to prevent erasure and forgery. The art was taken to Western Europe by the crusaders, and by the 1600's, France and the Netherlands had become well known for the quality of their papers As populations grew and became more educated, books were printed in ever larger mass quantities and also became cheaper, which inevitably meant fine bindings and marbled endpapers would soon become a thing of the past. By the 1890's, the art was considered quaint and old-fashioned, and was actually on the verge of death. At last a few of the remaining marblers started publishing their precious centuries-old family marbling methods and formulas, lest they be lost for all time. And now, suddenly, 100 years later, there are more practitioners of this beautiful art than ever before in history, though there are still very few who make a full-time living at it; most people do it at home as a hobby. There have actually been several International Marblers' Gatherings in the past decade, mostly in the U.S., though one was held in the summer of 1997 in Istanbul, Turkey, where it all started and where it never really died out -- a few wonderful marblers still work there using the ancient handed-down formulas.

Marbling Today

Marbling is a fun art; there is such an infinite variety of patterns and color combinations that it never gets boring. And it's a fairly cheap art form too; the necessary supplies aren't nearly as expensive or as extensive as those needed for many other arts. It can be done in a garage or a small art studio or work room, or even (on a small scale) in a kitchen.

Actually, very few of the traditional paper marbling patterns even look much like marble at all. Some of the simplest patterns can look quite marble-like if the colors used aren't too weird, but really the majorities make no pretence at resembling slabs of rock -- so the name "marbling" is somewhat a misnomer.


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