Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Marbling Paper Demonstration in Florence

A small group of us visited Il Papiro at Via dei Tavolini 13r for a demonstration of the process for making marbleized paper. This is the paper often seen in the end papers for books and was originally intended to cover up the ends of the string used to bind the book. It is quite amazing to realise that all of these hand made papers are all different even if several sheets of the same design are needed, because of the nature of the process. The process begins with a shallow bath of about the size of the paper being used. This bath has a thin paste in it, a lot like paper paste, the consistency of which has a significant effect on the resulting print. Acrylic paint in a variety of colours is dropped into the bath, leaving a mosaic of paint drops on the surface. The next step is to drag a thin stiff wire through the pan leaving the beginnings of the worls that characterize marbled paper. The end design is shown in the attached photo. Paper is then carefully laid onto the surface of the design in the liquid and then carefully removed leaving the pattern on the paper. The design on the surface of the pan liquid is destroyed in the process. -Photography and text by Len Lea of Selma, Oregon

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