Re:Salt? Ice Cubes? Bleach?
I have been marbling for nearly twenty years (no hobby-full time
profession)...in all types of climates and temps! If your alum solution is
correct, there is no need for SALT! When the temp. is higher than usual, I add
more carrageenan powder to the formula when mixing the batch. I always use
steam distilled water to make the sizing and alum solution...when the size
begins to water down after much use...then it's time for fun and
experimentation. There really is a LIFE beyond pretty patterns! Most of my
best work has come from bad, nasty size...several weeks old! That's when the
Creativity Muse takes over. Sometime consider the technique of marbling as a
"tool" rather than a set of rules and regulations to follow. Life is too short
to worry about every variable in marbling. Think about the 17th century
marblers...they made due with what they had and most probably stumbled across
some lovely new ways to marble!!! -Milena
> > Margo Snape in an issue of Ink & Gall a number of years ago mentioned that
> she started adding a pinch of salt to her size due top rapid decomposition
> in the hot Australia sun. The article is entitled "Marbling with a Pinch of
> > Salt" . i don't have the article, or the bibliographic info. Can someone
> > else supply that?
> The article was in the Winter 1991 issue of Ink & Gall. It was in reference
> to colors running off the paper, not the condition of the size. Anyway this
> is what she said:
> "One day when I was deep in thought about the problem, I recalled a
> conversation I had had about 30 years ago with a friend who was a technical
> advisor for a dye manufacturing company. He said salt was a fixative for
> color. I immediately added a small quanitity of common cooking slat to my
> alum water and alumed some paper. Waiting for it to dry off sufficiently
> seemd to take an eternity. I combed a pattern, laid the paper down, and
> held my breath. When I lifted the sheet the color did not run--not even
> when the paper was rinsed. I was elated!. I now add salt to my alum water
> as a matter of routine in the proportion of one level saltspoon
> (approximately 1/6th of a teaspoon) of common salt to two pints of water in
> which I have dissolved three level tablespoons of aluminate sulfate."
> Hope this is what you wanted to know. All I know is that after marbling for
> over 20 years I have found there "are no rules" what works for some doesn't
> work for others...we each have to find our own solutions to our own unique
> situations. This is especially true of the water content which comes from
> our household taps. I've been told the best water to use is rain water.
> But who of us has a rain barrell to collect it in!
> Happy marbling....
> d. guffey
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- My most interesting revelation came when trying to reproduce a 16th century
pattern for a book restoration once. The pattern looked deceptively simple,
but I just couldn't get the shapes of the droplet right. Then I gave up in
exasperation and couldn't even face the marbling room to clean up....went
back to it the next AM on a spoiled dirty size....and was so annoyed I
didn't even skim thoroughly....and lo and behold...the pattern was perfect.
That was the secret of the old time marblers....just use it until it was
almost useless......why throw out rotten size if it would still work even a
Another bit of fun came one hot summer when unbeknownst to me, some of my
paints went moldy (this will only happen if they have been mixed with
gall).......I got some very interesting shell type textures. tried for the
rest of that summer to make the paints mold agin but they refused!
And...I have never needed to add salt, and have never used distilled water
except for in the paints. The less distilled water I have to lug around,