By Chris / CS Designs
Pg2 Getting Ready to Marbleize:
Before you start, get all your materials together. Make sure you have a large area to work on and prepare your surface if it is not something that can be easily cleaned. I use one of my kitchen counters which is open between my kitchen and dining room and allows me to spread out and also move easily around my work area but you only really need room for tub or tray of water, a stack of paper, your chalk and some place to dry your finished pieces.
For drying finished paper, I have heard of some people hang them up to dry or drape them over some kind of laundry rack but I prefer to let mine air dry on my counter. This seems to work well for me and the papers to do not stick to my counters but you may want to experiment with this to see what works for you. It would be a huge disappointment to create beautiful paper only to have it stick to your work surface. If you are worried about your papers sticking to a hard surface you could also dry them on stacks of un-printed newsprint, felt sheets or old towels which you no longer use. I dry my Handmade Screened paper on Old Towels and it works well so I'm sure it would also work for Marbleized Papers.
I prefer to scrap with a knife instead of an emery board as I found that too much of my chalk stuck to the emery board before any of it really got to the surface of my water. Maybe when my chalk pieces get so small that it becomes too difficult to use a knife, I may resort to the emery board but for now I am a creature of habit. If you chose to use a knife however be sure to watch your fingers and also something you would not want to try with your children. I have a couple of knives that are no longer sharp enough to cut anything but good for scraping and you might be able to find something similar.
Color Combinations and Pattern Results:
Good chalk will float and spread out over the surface of your water without sinking and without you having to add anything else to make your chalk float. Although you can use a single color if you leave gaps in your colored area the best results are achieved with two or more colors.
Once you have enough color floating on the surface of your water, it is time to make some kind of pattern. You can do this with anything that will allow you to drag and move one color into another color. If using only one color, a pattern can be created by allowing gaps to formed between different areas that contain chalk. You can also create lighter areas that do not really show by matching your chalk color to the paper color.
Patterns can be created by making swirls or streaks through the chalk. Deliberate strokes should be made through the chalk rather than just stirring the colors around as this may have a tendency to fragment your chalk more and disperse too much of the colors and blend everything altogether which will produce poor results.
To make patterns, you can use the tip of a knife, handle of a spoon, the wooden end of a paint brush, a skewer or anything else that is similar and allows you to create a pattern. If you are doing large pieces of paper, bigger tools will work and make more of an impact where smaller pieces of paper and smaller patterns may be better achieved with smaller tools.
Although this kind of Chalk Marbling does not give you as much control over the pattern as other types of Marbling do, it will still produce some beautiful papers.