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Paper Crafting: Skills and Technique

Lesson 10 of 22

Paper Marbling - Part 2

Robert Mahar

Paper Crafting: Skills and Technique

Robert Mahar

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Lesson Info

10. Paper Marbling - Part 2

Lesson Info

Paper Marbling - Part 2

The next thing I want to do is I want to show you another way um that you can deal with the inks versus dropping it in with the paint brush. And with each of the little kits are these little floating paper tabs? Does everyone have those at their tables? Okay, so these come with assuming a gashi inks you simply their perforated you punch them out um and let's go out ahead and punch out. I don't know about three of them and what we're going to do is the's will float on the surface of the water so just gently going to drop it on the surface there and this is what thes allow us to dio these allow us to take our drink bottles and drop a drop or two of the ink onto the surface. If we were to do this directly onto the surface of the water, it would immediately sink underneath the water and very little a little of it would remain floating. But what thes tabs do is they break the fall of the ink, they give it sort of a cushion and they allow it to spread out so let's give it a try and see how t...

hey look. You kind of see it propelled my tabs right across the surface there, but while there still is a good amount, you look at that I am dropping it right on top of the tabs on dh I am learning that if you do it closest to the edge, it will you'll get more coverage on the surface sometimes if you're if you're a good aim and you're getting it right in the middle of those tabs, they might just huddle up and stay there for a little bit so if you can kind of came in a little bit towards the edge you'll get more on the surface now you can see in this particular bath some of these dark areas that's where some of the did sink down below the surface of the water not to be concerned again those air not going to affect our final design in anyway. Now I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to contrast this say with some yellow inc what I do want to do is try and get one of my little paper tabs on going toe screwed it over towards the center of my water bath and I just did that with the edge of one of my paint brushes and again, you kind of want to get pretty down close on top here there we go and kind of see it creates for that beautiful bubble design nice and phyllis you were asking earlier about using multiple in colors at the same time this is a really great way to do it because you've got these floating tabs and you don't have to worry about a different brush reach paint color you're just going to keep applying them using these floating tabs to sort of break their fall so I'm going to do a few more of these and it is just sort of this like lovely organic process the way they kind of dance around the surface of the water um I am going to push one of my tabs again out towards the center of my water bath and I'm going to add one more color had trump er to a creamed all right its colors yeah, it won't the purpose of the tab really is just to break the fall of that ink drop now you can still see in my water bath aa lot of those dark areas there that is ink that has sunk below the surface and a fair amount has done that in this instance and that is going to happen more with this method where we're using the tabs versus the brushes but in the interim you can certainly feel free to start playing around with the ink that you've just dropped onto the surface be it with using the straw to blow air lightly onto the surface of the water or just taking the handle end of your paintbrush and dragging it across in any sort of pattern information you'd like and for this I'm just kind of kind of lightly go back and forth and what's interesting is you'll see when you dragged from an area on the surface of the water that has no ink into an area that is covered with ink ah, little trail of no ink will follow your paintbrush if that makes sense. It's a little negative space will chase your paintbrush across, which can create some really interesting designs and patterns. I am going to gently take thes, and I'm just gonna grab my little floaty tab if it lets me there we go and set it off to the side. The reason I am doing this before I pull the paper is because otherwise I could end up with the tabs acting as resists and end up with some little dots, which could be an interesting technique and certainly would be something fun to play around with. Um, but at least for the purpose of this one, I'd like to see what it looks like without them. So once you've gotten to the point where you're happy with your design, go ahead and take your piece of paper and again, gently lay it down over the surface to capture your marbling design allow it to sit for just three to five seconds, four five and then lifted up by the corners that's great, and you can see with that heavier concentration of ink because we were dropping it right from the bottle, the colors tend to be a little bit more vivid and dense. I'm gonna grab another paper towel and just sort of pat off some of that access and you can see with most of ours here in the studios as as they've only been sitting out on the surface of our work spaces for a few minutes that are already starting to kind of curl up around the edges and the paper is warping as it dried, but again a cz I said before that's not really something to be concerned about it so it can be ironed out after it is fully dry or it can be placed between some pieces of paper towel and stuck in the interior of a book. So now that we have done that pass, most of us, I think, have a lot of ink to clear out of our baths, and I might also add that you can try multiple passes from one design. So say, for example, I just pulled this lovely orange, yellow and blue design it still looks like there's a fair amount of ink on the surface of my water just by way of experiment let's, put down another sheet and see how much is captured pull that up off the surface and you can see it's incredibly faint, but it's really lovely um and that's. So funny, I almost like that second pull better than the first one. Look how subtle those colors are. Beautiful marbling effect. I love that. I think I like the second one better to rights. So again, I'm just gonna take a clean paper towel and just do a little padding across the surface. Now, we've done a few designs at this point and and our work surfaces air, getting a little cluttered, so not unlike the stacks that we're creating with the felt in the handmade paper from our previous segment, I am going to just put some pieces of paper towel between the marbling sheets and create a little pile up here just by way of kind of, uh, controlling organization on the workspace. The second pass minutes more look like water color than it really does it's a much more no subtle tone to it, which I just think is lovely really, really pretty. Okay, so once you have done that let's, go ahead and, um, clean up our water bass. Catherine, you actually doing a second pass with the same print? I love that idea. I'm curious how that turned out. Does it make it feel more dense? It looks really full, I love that how many colors? Five. Did you do multiple? Perhaps is well, one. This is a ok. Says the actually need to walk over and see these because these look pretty great. I was the first poll on that's. The second poll. Ok, I think I like the second one. Yeah, if we can just show this, you can see this was the first poll which was really dense and much more vivid. This second is almost pastel like. And what I love is the way that the way that the black has ended up it's almost a light charge. Cool color, which is really pretty understated. Noble dipped, which is awesome, you know, that's what I thought you did. And that's what I wanted to see if you don't know what your teeny tiny I think. Okay, you know, hold this up so you can see it. So, um, what cathy did is she did one initial past and how rachel had done two separate sheets of paper. She actually took the same sheet and placed it back down. And so you've got this beautiful sort of like, over shadowing in a different direction, I think that's really lovely. I love that. Ok, cool could discovery, my friends, this is good, all right, yes, and again. So settle on like like watercolor this's again with phyllis is this was the first past this was a second pass and it's just really this one is it's it's got a little areas that are almost like muddy or smoky and this one almost came out cleaner, which I think is really fascinating so beautiful that way can you spoke sides of paper that's an excellent idea and I especially think if you were to use, let me just hold up matalin's as well. This is a first pass in a second pass, it is well being was was being suggested if you were to do this on either side of the paper, there are plenty of applications that you could use that for if you were to use this for stationary or making your own envelopes, I think it would be completely charming toe have that marbling pattern on either side of your paper on really add something special. So now I did run one sheet of my newsprint through and it still looks really muddy, so I'm going to go through one more time and see if I can't capture a little bit of the extra inc that is swirling around towards the bottom again if it is below the surface of the water down towards the bottom of your water bath, it should not affect the quality of subsequent prints on the top but now that we have explored the idea of manipulating ink with the handle ends of our brush, and we have used little bendy straws to blow on the surface of the water, and we have also used are floating tabs, I want to show you one more method and that's building an ink comb a lot of times if you have seen western paper marbling, italians are amazing at this, they've got some fantastic crafts people they create really intricate, almost peacock like designs on the surface of the water, and we're not going to get something that is eggs is as exacting as that get those words out, but it's going to give you another way to kind of like control and push the ink around. And for each of you a table I have pre cut a little piece of foam core foam core is a material that you confined at any craft supply store and honestly, any office supply store it's often comes in large sheets and aa lot of elementary school kids use it for a poster presentations, science fairs exhibits that sort of thing. What I've done is I've cut it down into strips ease or eight inches long and an inch wide, and then when I've done is I've measured an inch from either end, and I've poked a siri's of holes down the center. I did this using an all now on all if you're not familiar looks a little bit like an ice pick it's a it's, a long, slender blade and I did it on top of a cutting matt, I marked all of my dots in pencil first, and then I just kind of went through and poked those holes through there fairly narrow and small, but what we're going to be using them for is to insert a siri's of nails. Um, these nails, I believe, are right around an inch and a quarter there's nothing particularly special about these nails, with the exception of the fact that they have a flat head there. If you go to the hardware store, there are a million different nail varieties finishing nails or the ones that kind of tend to have no little head at the top. These have a very distinct, almost tabletop surface at the top and that's really what we're looking for because that's going to prevent the nail from going all the way through our piece of foam core. So if you want to go ahead and do this with me, we're simply going to push the nail into the hole and using your thumb press it all the way through so that the top of it is flush with the top of your piece of foam court now to be mindful these nails are sharp, I don't want you puncturing or poking yourself, but just be careful is you're putting them through now in this particular comb, as I said, I measured an inch from either end and then using a ruler, I measured every half inch and that's where I poked ah hole within all. So we've ended up with thirteen holes for this particular anc comb, and this again is one of those workarounds in that you can certainly go to an art supply store or someplace that has specialized materials for paper marveling and by an ink comb. But this is really inexpensive and it's just kind of an easy work around and it's really going to do the same thing. Now, as you're poking them through, you're probably realizing that all of these nails are not necessarily perfectly parallel to one another. You can fuss with that a little bit kind of changing the angle of them, but I wouldn't be overly concerned because there still is. We rake them across the surface of the our design are going to do the intended job of sort of pulling lines across the surface in uniform formation. Once you have pushed all of your nails through, we're just going to take a long piece of masking tape and we're going to run it along the top just to secure all of the nails in place masking tape standard comes an inch wide so it's really pretty much the same with as we have cuts these foam core pieces and this edition is really just teo the nails are pretty secure is they are they're not loose the initial holes that I punched through were thinner than the diameter of the nails themselves this is really just tio an added safety measure to make sure that they stay in place you can see I'm just pushing that over the top pressing it down a little bit I'm just gonna tear off that little access bitten folded around the edge and smooth it out and you've created a little income so what we're going to do with these then is go ahead and build up our pattern of banks again on the surface of the water but this time around instead of maybe using just the end of our brush we're going to take our income and we're very lightly goingto submerge the heads of the nails down into the water and just drag it across the surface and see what happens. So go ahead and to pick out a couple of colors, load up your brushes with the ink and we'll go ahead and start building up those patterns. J k o I'm curious of any of our online viewers have tackled paper marbling before you getting any of that sort of feedback or if any of them have done sooner gashi it looks like they're trying different things. They're also trying different products. Some of them were using indy arranges to see what actually happens. So fascinated by really having anyone with that we'd like to see that you are trying to other materials. Please upload into art galleries, go to the core space because we'd love to see what what your experiments are turning out began. People are asking, checking out the empty the, uh, combs and so you can get the right word. They're using other things. They're not just making one like a nito h is using on afro comb. Oh, I love that where the times of the comb are far enough apart, in fact, that that would work that was genius, very well done, also a tool for grooming dogs. Apparently somebody has found it works very well as well. That's funny, so different ideas coming through there as well. Let's. See if there's any questions coming in this well, um now they're asking what you know, you typically use these force and people saying card making another suggestions, and as you were saying earlier, tracy tt is echoing the envelope line of the great yes, simple. Well, at the very end of this segment, we have some ready made stationary pieces, they are blank cards and envelopes, and we're going experiment with marbling those so these are things that you might be able to go to your local stationery store in just by those buoyant cards and envelopes and use them in lieu of thie construction paper that we've been using up until this point. But he was saying earlier, if you were to do the mar being, you could then construct your own envelopes. The marbling is on the inside that absolutely can, and that is something not unlike our previous segment, where we were working with the handmade paper and lining the envelopes with those we deconstructed that envelope to make our template. You could do the same thing to actually trace the exterior of that envelope and cut that out and reconstructed with marble paper. So that's a great idea tried other things yourself, or do you have I tried what other banks is, if you just got hit knots, these are formulated specifically for this and they're relatively inexpensive on dh there's something about the way they're manufactured that allows them to readily float on the surface although I think it's definitely worthy of experimentation just to see if something like in india ink but again, as I had mentioned, I've tried some other paper marbling techniques and they require certain additives tio almost act as flotation aides for the yanks to keep them up towards the surface. Ok, now I don't know if you caught what I just did here it's because the bottom of my basement is getting a little muddy we're not getting the same clear contrast, but I built up one series of concentric is concentric rings with two colors I've gone back loaded up my brush with two more colors, picked a different spot on the surface of the water and have started building them up again and it's another way to introduce a third color to your design okay, so I feel like I have covered a large portion of my water bath, so what I'm going to do now is I'm going to take my little ink comb and I'm going to dip it in at one end and I'm slowly going to drag it across and look what that does it creates almost this scalloped design I love that so much um and let's try it in the opposite direction just to see what that does so I think with just those two simple passes I want tio capture that on a piece of paper and just see what we've got so fun I love it let me put down a piece of paper towel here and we can kind of look at this a little bit closer you can see especially in this area with the blue in the green what has happened to this beautiful sort of like segmented scalloping design has started to emerge I'm gonna take again my other piece of paper towel and just remove some of that excess water um yeah adapt that off excellent I think it's interesting with I mean as might be expected with the comb and all of these thirteen um little elements were then poking down into the water that would create a much more intricate design and you can kind of just see by way of comparison between one of the ones that we did earlier where we were simply blowing on the surface of the water how different those two are I love the come it's a good thing how are we doing with the ladies in the audience are you having success with the comb is it doing very nice little muddy yeah I mean when you get a little bubble huh it's almost like that got trapped maybe under the piece of paper that you laid down again I love those different striations it is a second color this was the first pass and this was after the second with a nice additional calorie very cool that's great but it happens with a third set final somehow see what else is left in there and did something beautiful thiss behind it uh huh. So what? Madeleine and um what madeleine unfeeling are saying is that they have done one pass um with a couple of colors they've laid their paper down they've pulled that particular design and then without cleaning off the surface of the water they then went back and added a couple more colors too buildout another design so you get those residuals of the first couple of banks around the borders and you get the new inks that you've added mohr central and focal are focused in the center very nice let's go ahead and has everybody gone through and kind of cleaned out their water bath from that last pass so like that you can barely light and delicate oh yeah almost looks like a shadow of the colors I mean it's not nearly as money it looks a lot nicer almost like a lot of that access think that seem to my first power got soaked up? Yeah, all right. I'm just gonna do one more pass with the news prince again cleaning it up and you can see from the overhead cam that my water bath is starting to get ah little muddy again, though, we're using the newsprint to clean off any excess waters from the surface. And I would say, at this point, we have probably pulled. What if we done one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, between eight and ten prints. So I would say we probably could get, uh, you know, another four or five before we would want tio officially change out the water.

Class Description

From making your own paper to marbling and stamping to sculpting hand-crafted objects, paper crafting is an incredible way to express yourself. Join Robert Mahar to explore everything this simple, sophisticated art form has to offer.

You’ll embrace your inner recycler as you learn to create paper pulp and form it into sheets of handmade paper. You’ll also explore the Japanese art of suminagashi and use this centuries-old technique to create gorgeous, marbled paper. You’ll learn basic stamping and patterning techniques that add extra flair to any project. You’ll dive into creating three-dimensional paper crafts as well, from hand-crafted flowers to papier-mache projects to other decorative and functional objects.

Whether you’re looking to create handmade gifts to share with friends or to add new paper craft goods to your Etsy® store, you’ll leave this course equipped and inspired to create dozens of new projects.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Robert Mahar - Paper Flower Directions.pdf

Robert Mahar - Paper Garland Directions.pdf

Robert Mahar - Paper Marbling Directions.pdf

free bonus materials

Robert Mahar - Course Supplies List.pdf

Robert Mahar - Syllabus.pdf

Robert Mahar - Letters Sample.PDF

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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user 1400000665814257

This class if filled with new and fun ways to use the paper that we have in stock. In addition, the paper technique that utilizes Suminagashi Ink is mind blowing! Anyone who loves to create beautiful things will enjoy this class. Robert is one who is an exceptional instructor, in that when he is demonstrating a new technique, he has an ability to use clear concise language. I have enjoyed the class, and plan to use the gorgeous floral pieces in my studio and home, along with creating a lovely party. Thank you!

a Creativelive Student

Really enjoyed watching this two day Paper Crafting course with Robert Mahar. It was full great paper techniques and inspiration. Roberts has such a calm and positive teaching style. Watching him work through step by step of each project you really pick up lots of wonderful tips and tricks of the trade. Highly recommend it.

Holly Herick

Robert Mahar is an excellent teacher with many great examples on paper crafting. Robert has encouraged me to continue working on my sculpted watercolor paper flowers—now I have a bunch of new tips and tricks to try. This class is well worth the price