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Re: [Marbling] Digest Number 972

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  • Jake Benson
    Dear Laura, What you are doing is something that I think the rest of us could learn a bit from. Teaching marbling specifically targeting people with
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 24, 2005
      Dear Laura,

      What you are doing is something that I think the rest of us could learn
      a bit from. Teaching marbling specifically targeting people with
      disabilities, or the "differently abled" is something that will likely
      attract more consideration for grant funding. If you are careful to
      come up with lesson plans for demonstrations, short classes, and longer
      workshops, it would help many marblers who teach to better cater this
      community. The very fact that you "haven't lost the marbling bug"
      despite your circumstances is something that should not be altogether
      lost on others.

      Some in Turkey have even attempted to use marbling as a form of art
      therapy. I think that this is another area that is in need of further
      investigation. The more that the marbling community is able to reach
      out to and work with such groups, the greater the response. Currently
      there is no real scientific data regarding marbling in these
      applications. I would like to see international organizations devoted
      to art therapy, child psychology, mental illness, and physical
      rehabilitation to pursue the study of marbling as a potentially viable
      form of therapy. All of these efforts would be very rewarding,
      successfully draw fresh attention to marbling in general, provide new
      avenues and markets to marblers who could better respond and engage
      this particular audience. In the end I could see this having some
      positive economic impact as well- as it would help increase the selling
      of marbling supplies by marbler-owned small businesses.

      Rather than focus solely on production and retail efforts for your
      career, you may well wish to consider teaching what you have learned,
      in your unique circumstances as well. So many elementary and secondary
      schools teach a short segment of marbling. Often this is a bit crude
      compared to professional standards, and also lacks a lot of the
      wonderful historical background information. Many automatically assume
      that history is a boring subject, but I of think that showing examples
      form history at the very least helps to inspire students, and is
      "cross- disciplinary" and "cross-cultural" ("buzz words" that grant
      agencies like to see).

      Working at a small tray should not be seen as working at a "diminished
      level" as some imply. The manufacture of large sheets of paper is
      something we see today as a result of the use of marbled paper for
      production bookbinding. Historically both in suminagashi and in
      Islamic forms of marbling, much smaller sheets are used. In Turkey,
      many sit at a small marbling bench, working in a small tray, so that
      may be a set up that you could emulate. It seems in India that
      marbling is traditionally performed in a small tray while sitting on
      the ground.

      Miniature forms of marbling, including a enormous array of motifs are
      known from Central Asia, India, Iran, and Turkey. the Turkish forms of
      floral marbling is widely recognized today. Yet the contemporary
      tradition of Turkish "ebru" is not the only form that exists. Early
      19th century (the early years of the Qajar Dynasty) Persian marblers
      who developed a style of marbling which they called "abru-bad" or
      "clouds and wind". They applied delicate, complex, and most tiny
      motifs to a wide variety of surfaces other than book covers, such as
      penboxes, small boxes and caskets, and even mirror cases. In addition
      the usage of stencils and gum resist were used not only to create the
      famous paintings studied by the late Christopher Weimann, but also to
      produce entire manuscript- especially in India since the late 16th

      I hope that this serves to inspire you to think very broadly about the
      direction you might take. If you explore these avenues in teaching, I
      think that the rest of us could stand to learn a lot from you in the
      end. The scope of the world of marbling is incredibly rich, and I
      think that there is something for everyone. Your undertaking will no
      doubt serve to inspire others just by example.


      Jake Benson

      PS- Would anyone else care to add anything, suggestion or experiences
      about teaching marbling to the "differently abled"? I don;t think we
      have discussed this before....


      > My philosophy is that I only actually discovered marbling as a result
      > of being out of work because of my disability ie. something good came
      > out of something bad. My learning curve has been slow because my
      > stamina is low but I just haven't lost the marbling bug.
      > Enough self-justification I think! I'll be back in touch soon but if
      > anyone else has any suggestions I'd love to hear them. Many thanks to
      > all.
      > Laura
      > _______________________________________________________________________
      > _
      > _______________________________________________________________________
      > _
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      Benson's Hand Bindery
      Fine Custom Bookbinding, Conservation, & Hand Marbled Papers
      Jake Benson, Proprietor
      1027 Brookwood Circle
      West Columbia, SC 29169
      (803) 926-5544

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