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An Expressive and Innovative Mixed Media Art Ezine for Paper Crafters, Collage and Assemblage Artists

Chalk Marbleizing In Depth Tutorial pg3

By Chris / CS Designs / pg3

In Depth Chalk Marbleizing  Dipping the Paper:
Once you have the color combinations and pattern you are happy with on the surface of your water. Take a sheet of cardstock and holding it on both ends bow it slightly away from you and place it gently on the surface of your water. The slight bow, with the middle touching the surface first will help remove some of the air pockets that may have a tendency to form.  After I have place my card-stock on the surface,  I press down lightly with both hands moving them slightly with a tapping motion over the piece to get rid of any extra air bubbles that my still exist between the water and the paper. If all the air bubbles are not removed, there will be places where the chalk will not stick and it will leave white areas or what look like gaps on your finished piece. It is ok if your paper sinks a little after a little bit and I sometimes push my paper down totally submersed after a few minutes as the chalk will swirl on the top as well and leave an imprint on both sides.

After you do this a couple of times it will be easier to judge how much pressure to apply and also how much chalk you like on the surface of your water. Once you feel sure that you will probably have a good print, lift the paper out of the water.

To Rinse or not to Rinse: This is a personal preference. I know some people that just set their paper aside after they have been dipped and this does produce much darker colors, but I actually take my paper to the sink and rinse off the excess chalk as I think that it helps prevent the chalk from smearing at a later date.

Flattening the Finished Piece:  Some papers will curl and warp as they dry, so after they are dry it may be necessary to iron them to a flatter state. Each iron is different so you will have to try your iron at different tempter to see what works best for you.

Papers can be ironed when completely dry or when they are still slightly damp but not dripping. For stubborn paper which refused to iron flat, a little steam might help, or you could apply a little water by way of a spray bottle. Ironing should always be done on the back side of your decorative paper to avoid smearing or marring the chalk as it will still have a tendency to rub off if you rub too hard or apply an iron to it. 

Artist Note:
The marbling above on the left was done on lime green paper. It was not a huge pice but I love how it turned out. This is technique is a great way to use smaller scraps which can be used for such things as inchies, atc and lots of other wonderful things. Since this was such a small piece measuring only about 3"x3", I just shoved it under a small box when is partiality dry instead of ironing it. A few hours later when it was completely dry, it was perfectly flat and has stayed that way. I think this would work for slightly bigger pieces with just some additional weight and it would save from having to iron them. The blue piece on the right was a similar piece and I have added it here simply because it shows the strong swirls you can achieve with white chalk on darker paper. On the piece on the left the white shows up more like yellow but on the blue it just looks like a lighter shade. Any bright or dark color will lend a little of itself with the color of the chalk you use. 
If you are worried about ironing directly on the back of your paper, you can iron them between two sheets of text weight  printer paper. In some instances ironing may also add extra wrinkles which refuse to iron out between too sheets, in this case I usually iron directly on the back of my paper with no other paper between the iron and the decorative sheet. This however can dirty the back of the paper and also dirty the surface of the iron so it is best to use an iron that will not be used later on your best linens and for papers where only one side will be visible on a project.

I have one iron that I just use mainly for my papers including making crayon paper which can be messy. Although you can cover the iron with tin foil to give it a bit of extra added protection even this is not totally foolproof because the tinfoil may tend to rip whit use. Some papers such as glossy types are pressed together in layers and may not be suitable for ironing. I once did an inking technique on a glossy piece of card stock and though I would iron it as I do my other papers and it blew up like a balloon because the heat separated the layers and allowed the air to get between them. A good lesson, before attempting to iron different types of papers it may be a good idea to test a piece first to see how it will react.

Excess Chalk:
Even though I rinse my papers there is often a bit of left over powdery residue left on them which may come off on your hands if rubbed lightly. This slight residue may eventually come off on other papers so when my finished papers are completely dry I rub them lightly with a used dryer sheet  to remove the extra powder.

                                                                                                                              Continued on Next Page

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  1. Thanks for the tutorial. I've got to try this!

  2. Great tutorial, I would never have thought of using chalk for marbeling! Hugs Frea


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