The Marvels of Marble

You know it’s going to be an exciting day, when your workshop facilitator shows up with several litres of boiled seaweed/moss and a jar of ox bile!

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Yes, this gloopy green substance (carrageen) forms the base of the ‘size’ used in marbling – the surface on which the paint rests, and from which we drew our marbled prints.

In this image, the volunteers carefully lay the page on the surface, before gently lifting it, and then rinsing it to reveal the wonderful colours underneath:

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This part of the process required a complex mix of skill and luck. It was important not to let the liquid run onto the back of the print, as this formed the inside front cover of our booklet. At the same time, the ink needed to go right to the edges of the page.

Lifting the page up from the liquid and turning it over was always a moment of great revelation and joy. There were exclamations of sheer delight!

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Some of the workshop volunteers expressed their joy by wearing the marbling materials:

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The results were astonishing. We have more covers to marble tomorrow, and as the project progresses, but here are just some of the marvellous results:

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Tomorrow, having replenished our supplies, we will marble with aplomb, and then try our hands at the processes involved in traditional book-making. We are ‘awl’ excited (see what I did there!).

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