Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: Greetings from Jake Benson

Expand Messages
  • Jake Benson
    Hello Everyone, Here s a basic marbling Q & A that I have drafted to mount on the Society of Marbling web site. I would love to hear any constructive
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 1, 2005
      Hello Everyone,

      Here's a basic marbling Q & A that I have drafted to mount on the
      Society of Marbling web site. I would love to hear any constructive
      comments, suggestions, or possible additions from any of you. Suffice
      it to say that between unlawful reproduction and Martha Stewart, we
      need something like this for general public consumption. In time, I
      may revise this, as sections of the site expand. For instance, the
      mention of some historical info could well be worked into a page by
      itself.. I would also like to illustrate this, but I need to start
      simply and over time it can be revised and expanded.

      Jake Benson

      Q: What is marbling?

      Marbling, occasionally referred to, as marbleizing is an artistic
      application of color to a surface. A common factor in all type of
      marbling involve first suspending colors on a liquid. In some methods
      these floating colors are manipulated using a variety of tools and
      movements. Then a material such as a sheet of paper is then laid over
      top, capturing the design.

      Each resulting piece is totally unique, and each application is used to
      decorate one item at a time. In artistic terms marbling can be
      considered a type of mono-printing technique. This form of marbling on
      a liquid bath is carefully distinguished from other forms of surface
      design, such as faux marbling or graining, which are painted by hand
      directly onto a surface. Many different methods, materials,
      applications for marbling have evolved over time.

      Q: Is marbling a copyright free design?

      No! Copyright Laws clearly state that contemporary marbling is
      protected against unauthorized reproduction. Marbled paper may be
      reproduced only with the agreed consent of the artist who made it.
      Violators of the law may be subject to lawsuits by the artist.

      Q: Is marbling made by machine?

      Artists who are dedicated to the method of marbling by hand largely
      perpetuate the process. There are some forms of marbled paper that
      were and still mass-produced through a mechanized process. However the
      resulting patterns do not feature the complexity or the extensive
      variety of hand-made designs.

      Q: What is marbling used for?

      Many in the West recognize marbled designs from book covers, graphic
      design, and commercial packaging, as well as decorative matting by
      picture framers. Yet few are familiar with the rich history of this
      art. Marbling has a long historical association with book and
      manuscript production, and use in paper crafts. However, marbling was
      also historically used for interior design, and still is today. For
      example, it has been used as a fancy wallpaper or decorative border,
      for lining built-in bookcases, desk drawers, trunks, chests, instrument
      cases, and covering scientific equipment such as telescopes. Today
      marbling is often used to make, among other things, clothing,
      lampshades, folding screens, and as works of art on paper in their own
      right.

      Q: What surfaces can be marbled?

      The oldest form of marbling is paper marbling. In the 19th century,
      techniques for marbling textiles appeared in Japan and Europe. Today,
      some have explored a wealth of new artistic materials in an attempt to
      marble a greater variety of surfaces than ever before. Another unique
      approach that has emerged in recent years is the marbling of 3-
      dimensional objects, made of wood, paper mach�, ceramic, and glass.

      Q: How difficult is it to marble?

      Like many age-old artistic methods, the process of marbling can sound
      deceptively very simple. Yet depending on the specific medium used and
      desired form, it can require many adjustments to be successful. Often
      it is through repeated trial and error is one able to gain a basic
      competency in the technique. Some forms of marbling that are highly
      evolved can take years to master.

      Q: How can I learn to marble?

      There are a number of books, a couple of videotapes, and several web
      sites that offer basic instruction on the various methods of marbling.
      Established marblers in different regions also offer workshops from
      time to time.

      Q: Where does marbling come from?

      This curious paper came to Europe via the Muslim world, though it
      likely originated farther east in China, where some have suggested it
      was a form of ink divination or visual entertainment. A 10th century
      compilation entitled Wen Fang Si Pu or �Four Treasures of the Scholar�s
      Studio� by the Imperial Scholar Official Su Yi Jian mentions two kinds
      of paper, Liu Sha Jian (Drifting Sand -paper) and Yu Zhu Jian
      (Fish-eggs paper) that were a specialty of the province of Shun,
      modern-day Szechwan. Yet no historic example of these types of paper
      have been identified so far.

      Q: What is the oldest example of marbling known?

      In Japan a tradition of marbling known as suminagashi (literally
      �floating ink on water") survives today. The oldest datable examples
      can be found in a copy of the Sanjurokunin Kashu or �36 Immortal
      Poets�, kept in the Nishi Honganji temple in Kyoto. The manufacture of
      this paper became the specialty of one family, the Hiroba Family of
      Nara, whose ancestor Jizemon is said to have been divinely inspired
      after making spiritual devotions at the Katsuga Shrine. This family
      has continued to make this paper for 90 generations, down to the
      present day. Other contemporary masters of suminagashi have expanded
      their repertoire to include impressive and novel designs that can be
      considered works of art in their own right.

      Q: Are there other traditions of marbling?

      In the Islamic world, various aspects about marbling have been
      published in different countries, including India, Afghanistan, Iran,
      but especially Turkey in recent years. Much remains to be learned
      about the early history and development of this art throughout Muslim
      world and Asia, since a majority of evidence remains undocumented or
      unpublished. Many have theorized that this method of paper decoration
      must have traveled along the Silk Road to Central Asia and then spread
      to India, Iran and Turkey. A second theory is that Muslims came up with
      methods to imitate another type of imported paper, likely from China.
      Another theory proposes that the Islamic artisans developed their own
      methods independently of the others. The scant evidence is
      insufficient to support any conclusive theory regarding origin of
      marbling at this time.

      The earliest examples of Islamic marbling that have been identified so
      far stem from a rich manuscript tradition heavily patronized by rulers
      of the Timurid dynasty. During the reign of Sultan Hussein Bayqara,
      whose capital was in the city of Herat, many distinctive innovations in
      calligraphy and the book arts emerged that were admired and imitated by
      other artists from India to Turkey. Most of the earliest marbling can
      be identified in small compositions written by calligraphy masters.
      Some masters were so famous that their works were eagerly collected by
      other rulers and compiled into lavish albums, known as muraqqa. This
      paper was not only used for calligraphy, but as a covering material and
      decorative border. The application of marbling for decorative borders
      may well be the antecedent of what is called �French matting� by
      picture framers today.

      An early Persian language account employed the term kaghez- abri,
      literally �clouded paper�. The paper was used as an element along with
      other decorative techniques as a support for calligraphic compositions
      and manuscripts, to embellish decorative illumination, and as a
      covering material for books, pen-boxes, scroll tubes, mirror-cases and
      other items. This method of marbling was eventually arrived in Turkey
      at some point, likely in the 16th century, where the tradition
      flourished and is known as ebru today. Marbling is known is as
      abro-bad or "cloud and wind" in Iran today, and is often seen used in a
      genre of contemporary calligraphy known as khatt-naqsh.

      A novel method of using stencils and gum resist was developed in
      conjunction with marbling early on. A unique fusion of these methods
      emerged in India during the probably during the 17th century. Through
      a process of repeated marbling with blocked out areas, entire paintings
      were developed.

      Q: Is there a historical tradition of marbling in America? In the
      U.S., early colonists used decorated papers for a variety of
      applications. Many of these papers were imported. There is no
      conclusive evidence to show that marbled paper was made in Colonial
      America, however it is remains an important element in Colonial design.
      In the few years after the Revolutionary War, a few examples of early
      American money from the Free Library in Philadelphia, some of it
      printed by Benjamin�s Franklin�s grandson, are marbled along one edge.
      In this instance, a marbled border was a visual reference, along with a
      watermark, confirming the authenticity of the note to the bearer.
      However, it is not know for certain that Americans actually made the
      marbled paper used for this purpose, or if it was imported, and recent
      evidence suggest that it was an import. By the turn of the 18th-19th
      century, marbled papers were produced in New England and New York, and
      by the middle of the century were made in many major cities across the
      country.




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • hamburgerbuntpapier_de
      Jake- there is one thing I would like to draw your attention to. In the very first paragraph, you describe marbling as the artistic application of colours (by
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 2, 2005
        Jake-
        there is one thing I would like to draw your attention to.

        In the very first paragraph, you describe marbling as the artistic application of colours (by
        the way - is it really colours you talk about here? Not paints?) to a surface. This seems to
        me very treacherous grounds. Basically, marbling is neither more nor less than one of the
        many techniques of decorating paper, i.e. a craft. Marbling techniques can be used to
        create a piece of art, but then the result is graphics or marble-graphics or whatever you
        want to call it, but not decorated paper. Please avoid the pitfall of mixing up a technique
        (such as marbling) with a possible result (e.g. art). Sooner or later you'll be facing the most
        confusing mess, and we have enough of that already.
        Making decorated paper of any kind is repetition, and decorated paper is meant to be cut
        up and become a part of something else. Art is unique.

        Susanne Krause

        --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, Jake Benson <handbindery@b...> wrote:
        > Hello Everyone,
        >
        > Here's a basic marbling Q & A that I have drafted to mount on the
        > Society of Marbling web site. I would love to hear any constructive
        > comments, suggestions, or possible additions from any of you. Suffice
        > it to say that between unlawful reproduction and Martha Stewart, we
        > need something like this for general public consumption. In time, I
        > may revise this, as sections of the site expand. For instance, the
        > mention of some historical info could well be worked into a page by
        > itself.. I would also like to illustrate this, but I need to start
        > simply and over time it can be revised and expanded.
        >
        > Jake Benson
        >
        > Q: What is marbling?
        >
        > Marbling, occasionally referred to, as marbleizing is an artistic
        > application of color to a surface. A common factor in all type of
        > marbling involve first suspending colors on a liquid. In some methods
        > these floating colors are manipulated using a variety of tools and
        > movements. Then a material such as a sheet of paper is then laid over
        > top, capturing the design.
        >

        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jake Benson
        Dear Susanne, Thanks for you taking the time to read the Q & A, and to post your comments. I should mention in response that it is a constant struggle for me
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 2, 2005
          Dear Susanne,

          Thanks for you taking the time to read the Q & A, and to post your comments. I should
          mention in response that it is a constant struggle for me to be inclusive of others who DO
          NOT work on paper, or create "decorated papers" as I do. I find that definition too narrow,
          though it is my own "natural" focus, working in the conservation and restoration of books.

          I often see in some of the criiticism posted that some compare "apples to oranges".
          Knowing the intent, context, and application makes all the difference. I'm looking to build
          bridges here, not burn them!

          That said, I would welcome others to post their thoughts on what I've posted and these
          comments. I'm not trying to be unreasonable, nor an absolutist. Nor am I trying to
          denigrate "craft", becuase I prefer to use "Fine Craft" to describe what I do. Yet I do see
          that "craft" is one facet of this method, in my own humble opininon.

          Additionally, I it helps to provide constructive, objective criticism, and provide suggestions
          for alternative wording. Several have done so off-list already, as I did have many
          grammatical and a few spelling errors. I probably should have slept on it before posting.
          That said, it's a rough draft, and I posted it here simply becuase I knew that it would help
          all of us to think about how we define marbling.

          So, I think I should change it to say that "marbling is a method of surface design".

          Would that be a more acceptable term that cogently describes this process (whether art or
          craft?). Frankly I wasn't looking to get into the art vs craft discussion, YET AGAIN. We
          have discussed this before in the group at length- please search the archives...

          Thanks to all of you who have sent me suggestions. I will revise the draft in a few days
          and this time post it to the files section of the group website as a Microsoft Word rtf file.
          This will preseve my original formatting and allow you to post any comments in another
          color. This method is very helpful for editing...

          with warm regards,

          Jake Benson




          --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, "hamburgerbuntpapier_de"
          <hamburgerbuntpapier@t...> wrote:
          >
          > Jake-
          > there is one thing I would like to draw your attention to.
          >
          > In the very first paragraph, you describe marbling as the artistic application of colours
          (by
          > the way - is it really colours you talk about here? Not paints?) to a surface. This seems
          to
          > me very treacherous grounds. Basically, marbling is neither more nor less than one of
          the
          > many techniques of decorating paper, i.e. a craft. Marbling techniques can be used to
          > create a piece of art, but then the result is graphics or marble-graphics or whatever you
          > want to call it, but not decorated paper. Please avoid the pitfall of mixing up a technique
          > (such as marbling) with a possible result (e.g. art). Sooner or later you'll be facing the
          most
          > confusing mess, and we have enough of that already.
          > Making decorated paper of any kind is repetition, and decorated paper is meant to be
          cut
          > up and become a part of something else. Art is unique.
          >
          > Susanne Krause
          >
          > --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, Jake Benson <handbindery@b...> wrote:
          > > Hello Everyone,
          > >
          > > Here's a basic marbling Q & A that I have drafted to mount on the
          > > Society of Marbling web site. I would love to hear any constructive
          > > comments, suggestions, or possible additions from any of you. Suffice
          > > it to say that between unlawful reproduction and Martha Stewart, we
          > > need something like this for general public consumption. In time, I
          > > may revise this, as sections of the site expand. For instance, the
          > > mention of some historical info could well be worked into a page by
          > > itself.. I would also like to illustrate this, but I need to start
          > > simply and over time it can be revised and expanded.
          > >
          > > Jake Benson
          > >
          > > Q: What is marbling?
          > >
          > > Marbling, occasionally referred to, as marbleizing is an artistic
          > > application of color to a surface. A common factor in all type of
          > > marbling involve first suspending colors on a liquid. In some methods
          > > these floating colors are manipulated using a variety of tools and
          > > movements. Then a material such as a sheet of paper is then laid over
          > > top, capturing the design.
          > >
          >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.