Thursday, September 29, 2011

introduction to book arts: marbling

The day has been windy, the sort that bends the trees, limbs and leaves like hair on a woman in a convertible'd car.  There's something freeing about this point past the equinox, where the leaves are just flashing colors, brief head-craning as something brilliant slips by.

Winter will be long here.  It always is.

Show and tell:  silk worm cocoons.  The creatures rattled inside; gifts inside an egg.  Sorrow at knowing they'd boil to unskein.

We discuss the questions that have arisen since last week:  Would autumn leaves make vibrant paper?  Likely to turn brown.  But using some slurry to affix an undivided leaf might maintain its color.  One instructor of the instructor used lilies--the flowers, the stalks, the pollen still clinging--and developed an allergy so strong, she could not even touch the paper when it was done.  How does one make paper in one's own home? Buckets and supplies from a hardware store.  A solid drill.  I'm thinking of collecting, setting up a mobile studio.

Tonight:  sheets of paper and paint in a pan.

One must wake the paint.  Acrylic dries so fast.  Drop color into water, watch it unravel.  It grows and reaches; a second layer and you are gazing at an x-ray film, organs on varicose display. [Recommended:  Golden Fluid Acrylic.]

Alum the paper, let it dry while you work.  Each color holds the paint differently--the darker the paper, the darker the hold.  We use white to start; my purple print is pinked.  

There is:  the stone.  It's beautiful alone, untouched.  One uses a dropper to plunk the paint onto the size.  One uses a whisk for smaller splotches.  The magic number--four to six colors mingle.  Consider the product; consider the book binding, the wrapping paper, the box cover.

There is:  Spanish wave.  One wave is a mistake, a distortion.  One can also start on one side of the paper and galumph it down, rocking the paint, creating an illusion of fabric folding.

There is:  Gel get.  Get gel.  (Get pronounced the same as one might expect; gel with the guh-sound, as opposed to the juh.)  Turkish:  back and forth.  These gel-gets are feathered; one can also keep a straight arm and find chevrons arising.

There are ghost prints.  Sometimes more lovely than the initial.  There is a space in the center where a paper once was.  And the paint circles that have sunk to the bottom of the tray won't change the tenor of your print.

There is:  snail.  Small singular loops with a dowel or use the comb.  My own hands spasmed, the snails a confused, crushed shell.

There is also:  non-pareil, peacock.  There is try and fail and try and find some other unique meeting of ink on paper. 

Most of the night, there is attempting color combinations that might appeal to those I love--and left on my fingers, there is a stubborn royal gold-and-purple, on another the red I do not care for but know belongs in the pages of a beloved's scrapbook.

There is the evening bath you take with your daughter, the soapy residue from last night's bubble bath rising up, swirling and spinning beneath the tap, and there is imaging drifting a sheet of paper on top and slipping it away, coming up with the imprint of bodies from before, of patterns upon patterns.

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