Thursday, August 02, 2007

paper + water = days of fun

Collaborations are awesome.
Here's Shelley at the Albertine Press studio, pretty early on day one of the Paper Marbling Crash Course/Delightful Boston Weekend. (I'm normally not a fan of random capitalization, but I'm so excited to talk about the weekend that it's either that or italics--ugh!) Shelley had marbled paper at summer camp years ago, and when she mentioned to me that she'd like to do it again, I jumped. Or rather drove four hours in a torrential thunderstorm to take part in the festivities.

Shelley had almost everything set up--paints mixed, sizing made, paper cut--so I got there and got straight to work!

Here's a brief how-to for those who've never marbled before:
1. brush one side of your paper with an alum/water mix. let dry.
2. mix the sizing (distilled water and carrageenan), let sit for awhile.
3. mix acrylic paints with a small bit of distilled water, and ox gall if needs be.
4. drop the paint onto the water, using droppers, toothpicks, little broom-like whisks, or anything you can think of.
5. lay the paper very carefully on the surface of the tray.
6. lift the paper, hang dry, then press flat.
7. clean the paint off the sizing, and repeat.

Of course, I'm leaving lots of things out. But it was so much less complicated than I thought.

Oh, and don't forget--
8. invite your friends!

Jesse of Firefly Press braved the rain to play with paint. And Kathleen (the designer at Taza Chocolate, Shelley's studio-neighbor) stuck her head in the door to say hi and stayed to make paper.

I have to say that making paper was totally amazing way to spend a weekend, but talking and getting to know Shelley and Jesse and Kathleen was really great, too.
Shelley was definitely the pro of the weekend--she can pull an amazing Spanish Marble on purpose, whereas I can only do one because my hands are shaky.


You might think that we ate, slept, and breathed paper for 48 hours, but we did take a break to see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in Smell-O-Vision (and bubble-vision, too: imagine a crowd of movie-goers sitting in a parking lot blowing bubbles in the dark!) with Shelley's husband Jacob (you can't really tell that he's a physicist, he's so funny!) and bits--ahem, Nibs--of Taza Chocolates.

Sunday morning I had breakfast on Newbury Street with my friend Katie, who manages the Simon Pearce on Newbury. Yummy yummy belgian waffles, lots of catching up on gossip, and much talk about art vs. production, and the ways of the retail world, before heading back to Cambridge and paper marbling.

A brilliant weekend, I must say. If you'd like to read more, check out Shelley's blog, and definitely look at the rest of the pictures on my flickr page.

Ta-ta for now!

2 comments:

Albertine Press said...

Oh my goodness - I don't think I've ever seen my name mentioned so many times in one place...

What a superb sum-up of a superb weekend (and Jacob was thrilled about the shout out!). Thanks for coming out to play!!!

-Shelley

risamay said...

Beautiful marbled papers. I'm so jealous. I've never tried my hand at marbling paper. I buy from others. I must try it. I must!!