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Old 02-06-2011, 02:56 PM
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Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

Supplies:
· 2 disposable trays any size and 2 inches deep
· Alum (DickBlick or Jacquard sells this)
· Carrageenan (DickBlick or Jacquard also sells this)
· Paper – any sort but it has to be thick enough not to buckle too much when it is dry. E.g. printer paper is too thin.
· Newspaper – plenty of it
· Diluted liquid hand or dish soap – a couple of drops to 1 cup of water
· Brushes – one for each colour and a fan brush for the soap
· Disposable cups
· Sink for washing the paper after you have printed

Step 1.
If you have to, cut the paper to a size that will fit entirely into the tray. Cut plenty of sheets too as this is fun and you will go through a lot when you get going.

Step 2.
Dissolve ¼ cup Alum in 4 cups of warm water. Pour into one tray.

Step 3.
Dip the paper into the alum, soaking both sides so you don’t have to remember which side is treated. Make sure there are no little bubbles adhering to the paper when you do this. If there are any bubbles this will prevent the colour from sticking to the paper – not a good thing. Knock any off that you find. Flip the paper and check for bubbles and detach them from the paper. Pull out and drain briefly and lay on newspaper and allow to dry completely.

Step 4.
While the paper is drying and preferably the night before you want to do the marbling, make the carrageenan solution. Mix 1 tablespoon of carrageenan with 4 cups of warm water in a blender for 1 minute. Pour into the other tray. Add 4 more cups of warm water to the carrageenan and mix. Carrageenan is found in ice cream so OK to use kitchen stuff. Allow it to rest for 12 hours so all the fine bubbles come to the surface and pop.

Step 5.
This is my setup

This is the fun part. Dilute the colours you want to marble with, so that they are fairly watery. I am not sure on the exact ratio of paint to water but you will get the idea by how well the colour floats on top of the carrageenan. If the paint is not watery enough it will sink and if too watery it will disperse across the top of the carrageenan that when you dip the paper the colours will be faint. Also, use bold colours. These seem to work the best. You are looking for a dispersion of colour that is still bright but not clumped in one area.

I use brushes to flick the colours across the top of the carrageenan. 2-3 colours are best. More than this it becomes too busy looking.
1st colour


2nd colour


I liked this look, so I got a piece of paper and bowed it in the middle. You want to dip the center part of the paper in the carrageenan first, working out to the sides. Lift off, and rinse under running water to remove the unadhered paint and carageenan. The water should not be running too fast or the paint will slough off the paper. Then wet the back of the paper so it will dry flat. In this print the white bit in the middle was where I got a bubble and it did not contact with the surface of the paint. Not attractive at all.


Let dry completely. Do not touch. Recondition the surface of the carrageenan by dragging a piece of folded newspaper across the surface to remove any remaining paint.
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:57 PM
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Lightbulb Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

Step 6.
Experimenting.
Using the soap to break the surface tension, load the carrageenan with colours and drop on some of the diluted soap. I like a fan brush to do this with. You want the bubbles to be a reasonable size but not too large. Really small bubbles to me are unappealing.



Creating swirls, load the carrageenan with colours then using the handle end of a brush swirl the colours around.


Layers.
This is done in several stages. I use only one colour at a time with the soap. Dip the paper and wash as described. Allow to dry completely. Dip the paper in the alum, as above and allow to dry. Load the next colour onto the carrageenan, use soap to break the tension, then dip the paper and wash. Repeat for a 3rd colour if necessary. 2 layers on the right and 3 on the left.


So that is it. Simple eh?
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:48 PM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

Well thank you so much for doing this, excellent instructions and looks like fun.
I won't say simple but I will say way cool..haha I have to give this a go, must go shopping now. Just out of curiosity what paper did you use?

Really great Carol again thanks a bunch for this.

Elaine
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:53 PM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

I used watercolour paper and Strathmore drawing paper.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:57 PM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

This is cool! Thanks, Carol
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:18 PM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

Carol:
What an exciting look! Worth some experimentation!!
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:16 PM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

Thanks EP and Bertoni
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:05 AM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

Ive seen this done before and have always wanted to try it, just never got around to it. The resulting designs are only limited by your use of tools. This is a great addition to the WC archives.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:25 AM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

I'm so glad you posted this! Some time ago I came across alot of youtube videos of turkish artists doing really nice florals and other designs using this technique... but I couldn't figure out how. thanks so much
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:01 AM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

Thanks for this Carol its something I have looked for before and never found it, added to my favourites
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:09 AM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

thanks for posting this demo, will have to give this a try. My kids have been wanting to do this for a while
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:32 PM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

Oooooo - nice!

Now, it looks simple enough ............... hahaha ........ does the paint ever wash off under the tap though? Probably will for me

Thanks Carol - think this should be stickied for a wee while until we've tried it
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:40 PM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

Thanks Carol.l I found this process utterly fascinating. Really enjoyed it and perhaps when I am finished my new diploma course which involves at least four new disciplines,(help) I will give this a go.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:56 PM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

I have tried before with discount foam shaving cream but did not have success. Now I need to go find the suggested ingredients
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:06 PM
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Re: Acrylic Marbling - Step by Step

Excellent info thankyou.
Best wishes, Ken.
 


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