Oil vs Acrylics
The biggest difference between marbling with oil paints and marbling with
acrylics is that you do not have to alum paper (or fabric) first if using
But that is not enough of a reason to use oils, because you have to thin
them with paint thinner, whereas you only need water to thin acrylics.
Also, the results with oils is much "muddier", the lines are not as crisp,
and you will not get the detail in the various designs that you can with
acrylics or marbling inks. Working with paint thinner is not pleasant, and
you need a well ventilated area.
If you have the dried cut version of Irish Moss (usually available at health
food stores as Irish Moss Tea) here is the recipe which I used back in 1976.
Once I found powered carraghean, I never boiled another batch of Irish Moss.
But if you want to try it, here goes....
1/2 cup Irish Moss in 2 quarts of water (in a large pot) and boil for 3
minutes. (Keep an eye on it, it boils over easily and makes quite a mess!).
After 3 minutes add 2 cups of cold water and let sit overnight. Next
morning strain the mixture into your marbling tray. I used to use panty
hose which worked quite well.
I have a copy of "The Practical Guide to Marbling Paper" by Anne Chambers,
copyright 1986 in which she lists the following London addresses for
supplies. As this list is nearly 20 years old I don't know if it will be
useful, but as long as you are going to London it's worth a phone call once
Dryad Craft Centre
178 Kensington High St
London W8 7RG
George Rowney & Co. Ltd
12 Percy St
London W1A 2BP