finishes, critiqueing, bubbles
- I first wanted to mention that the suggestions we received regarding marbling space and paint splatters have given us some good
ideas for setting up more easily to prevent paint splatters - so thanks for the input!
I have just finished a 4 day marbling marathon - marbling some of my woodturning pieces (I do the both the woodturning and the
marbling ). While I'm working - my brain starts whirring with questions. One of those was critiqueing my/our (my husband
marbles as well) own work. I appreciated the comment made to consider your work before displaying it for the public. When I was
marbling.....there was one piece I had marbled and didn't like the result - "wiped it off" 5 different times...and that didn't include
the 7 or so tries just to get a marbled pattern on the bath that I thought I could even consider!!. Then when I was finished with my
4 day marathon - I still took out 4-5 pieces that I felt had flaws or too faded patterns or color combinations that just didn't
work....those pieces I will wipe out the marbling (lacquer thinner works - wear gloves that are chemical resistent)...and remarble
them at a later date. Those I didn't feel that even overmarbling would improve them. Perhaps makes me seem a bit
fanatical....but I am trying to set a standard for myself - and I truly believe in doing the best I can to give respect to the craft. My
husband and I have been involved in the arts for many years. We are constantly analyzing and critiqueing our own and each
others work (when it's asked for!!).
It is interesting that this just came up in the recent post, as I had planned on writing the group with this very question. I have
been asked and ask myself: "what would be considered good or quality marbling?"......."what are some guidelines to be considering
when we decide our work is ready to display to the public"?
I would be MOST interested to hear other peoples thoughts on this. I realize that some of it is subjective.....what one person views as
beautiful, another person may not. Some of my thoughts on this topic are: Some of the obvious - such as minimal dust, no
hesitation lines, smearing, crisp pattern (unless the intent is otherwise),...for traditional patterns - perhaps uniformity of image.
But when in the area of more "free-form" marbling.....uniformity would not apply. I had also thought that: ' having the image
hold your attention, one which has surprises' - would also be a factor.
1.) If any of you care to give your thoughts on this subject, I think it could be very interesting and educational, helpful and useful!
I heartily agree with the concept of holding off on putting your work out to the public until it has had time to develop and mature is
a wise practice.....not only for the artist, but to give respect to the craft, as well.
Next: questions regarding finishes.
In the archives, I have read with great interest the many entries on this subject. My interest is putting a finish on my marbled
woodturned pieces. I have already done a considerable amount of this to date....I have been using Deft Lacquer spray. I do have
good results with it - but it has its minuses. Very difficult to work - needs MANY coats.....and I am becoming less and less
appreciative of the "barrier" finish that it gives. After I marble a piece - I really like the look of the marbling as it is right on the
wood.....however...I feel there must be a protective coating of something on there to protect the piece from oils from handling,
damaging/smudging of the pattern (particularly with anything with mica in it) etc.
I am very interested in the recipes that Jake Benson spoke of in post #684.......using egg white and alum, or hide glue and alum (the
hide glue sounds like it would be more difficult to get an even coat on a 3-dimensional surface?)...or the "gelatinizing.
2.) If you read this Jake - are those recipes/processes something that is feasible to post here...or is it one of those things that work
better by being shown the process?
3.) I am looking for a finish that protects the marbling, but wouldn't be real shiny...have any of you tried these methods....and if
so, how did they work for you?
I have presently tried different brands of spray fixatives (permanent) on my woodturned/marbled pieces.....and haven't decided
yet what I think of the result. I have tried renaissance wax applied directly to the marbling on the wood and found that it can
smear the marbling - and doesn't seem to do much on it's own (probably works better on paper - wood needs something else, or more,
I feel). I have tried a few pieces spraying Krylon clear acrylic spray with a coat of the renaisance wax over that -it's okey, but it
seems to make the marbling "go a little flat" (meaning loses some of its vibrancy). I considered the parafin wax idea - but decided
that it likely wouldn't work well on a 3 dimensional piece, because the contact area when rubbing would be only 1/4 inch or so at a
time, if even that.
Now......Suggestion/comments for folks marbling wood.....also in past posts there were questions about bubble problems with
paper. There was a comment that it can happen in wood because of the fibers being raised and trapping air.....I agree. When wood
gets wet - it raises the grain....even if it has been sanded very fine to 400 to 600 grit. I always fine sand my pieces - let them dry
which raises the grain and THEN SAND AGAIN with 400-600 grit. This greatly minimizes the problem - however, you will still
have some grain raising - just not as significant. This has worked very well for me. There was also a post long ago of a person who
tried sealing the wood prior to marbling. A comment on that....just as with paper - you want the alum to be able to adhere to
whatever you are marbling.....I would not recomment sealing the wood first - there is just no reason for it. You want the alum and
the marbling to "bite" into the piece.....you would be diminishing this from working well by first sealing the wood. One wouldn't
seal paper before marbling.....wood is no different.
Hope this isn't too long! I have already learned much just from reading the archives. What a great way to learn and share.
Sincerely - Mary-Celine Thouin-Stubbs