(Marbling) Re: Paper
- The paper problem is vexing indeed. Years ago I bought a supply of
Chambray 25% rag, which was a linen finished paper made by Hopper I
believe. It marbled fantastically - probably because it was not buffered.
They discontinued it, so I bought all the stock I could and had the paper
stored in the supplier's warehouse. But they changed managers, and new
brooms sweep clean! Unknown to me they decided to get rid of my lovely
stock of paper without even the courtesy of a phone call. (I did get a
refund.) The downside of that is - I am still looking for a really lovely
paper that does not cost an arm and a leg! Paper is a problem for us down
under, as most of it comes in from overseas, and is therefore very
expensive. I have yet to find a truly acceptable paper made here.
Re buffered papers. I conducted some experiments with these papers, and
found that I could marble them very satisfactorily if I kept the interval
between alumming and marbling as short as possible. Paper left for as
little as an hour after alumming resulted in uneven acceptance of the
colour. Once the colour has been fixed on the paper, I believe it is
stable - that is I do not think the colours fade on the paper after
marbling, since I have marbled samples which are quite a few years old and
they are still fine. For large editions of papers this method would have
its limitations, but at least you could use the paper.
A paper/colour/size resource such as Iris suggests would certainly be very
helpful. I still have a small stock of the Chambray, and depending on the
end use of the paper, use Canson mi tiente and ingres, and watercolour
paper. Canson Vivaldi marbles very well, but I shudder to think about its
longevity. I only use it for ephemera. Colours used are almost
exclusively Colophon, with the addition of some gouache colours. I use
blender size (powdered carrageen from Colophon) and have a small supply
dried carrageen for boiled size. Have a supply of alum sulphate from
Colophon, and sometimes use Aluminum Potassium sulphate. Perhaps this will
start the ball rolling.
- Hello Vi.....
I find that the alum/longevity problem only occurs when the paper is stored
damp before use. Not sure if this is true on EVERY paper....but I always
hang the alumed papers to thoroughly dry....and I mean totally....the room
has to be 50% humidity or less. And the same for the storage area. I can
keep papers for years this way after aluming. The same paper, if left
alumed damp under boards overnight loses most of its strength.
I would figure that if they are kept dry the alum must microscopically
re-crystalize on the surface or something and return to its original state.
Maybe the dampness wicks it into the paper somehow after sitting and there
is not as much surface alum available? Don't know exactly why but this
works. I also rarely get buckling using a dry flattened sheet.
I started this alum experimentation 23 years ago because I really hate
having to alum when all I want to do is marble! I read it would not work,
but had to try anyway.
It's a shame paper is so heavy to ship. I can understand the frustration.
Still I would try (maybe you have already) a commercial paper supplier and
get every sample book imagineable....then marble the little swatches. Do
they work that way in Australia as well? Here they do, then will give you
large sample test sheets once you narrow it down a bit.
- Hi Iris!
I think your comment "not sure if this is true on EVERY paper" is quite
relevant because I believe different papers are more heavily buffered than
others, while others have a tendency to be naturally more acid. However,
on difficult papers, being damp or dry makes little difference - an uneven
acceptance of the colour results.
It is an interesting thought that perhaps the alum re-crystallizes on the
surface. Mostly my sheets are pretty much dry when I marble them - rarely
damp, except in the situation under discussion.
You can obtain paper swatches from paper houses. The major drawback is
having to buy it in large quantities. An A4 sheet is about all you can get
as a sample. Group buying would be the answer, but then not everyone wants
the same paper! I have often wished that paper was not so heavy, or
shipping charges so high. One other problem I have found is that if you do
happen on a suitable paper, before you know it, the supplier removes it
from the range. There are not enough marblers for them to be interested
in providing a good service.
It simply requires perseverance.