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(Marbling) Re: Paper

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  • V. Wilson
    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
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 25, 2001
      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.

      Vi W
    • irisnevins
      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
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 26, 2001
        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.

        IrisNevins
      • V. Wilson
        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
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 26, 2001
          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.

          Vi
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