Make Mine Marbled Too!

In a recent post, I had shown you some paper I had marbled, and had casually mentioned that I  hoped to experiment further with it. Well, for once I've followed through with a good artistic intention!

As I looked at my marbled papers, wondering what I should do with them, I remembered that I had a few small aluminum plates, castoffs from Shelburne Museum construction projects, tucked in among my printmaking supplies, and decided to bring them out. After playing around with a few designs, I decided to do a close-up of my air plant and its shadow, thinking that the tendril-like forms would go nicely with the serpentine swirls of the marbling.

After drawing my design, I started by printing a plain white sheet to see how the drawing looked:

I then took a sheet of marbled paper, spritzed it with water (as opposed to submerging it in water, for concern that the marbled ink would run), and hoped for the best. I didn't want to chance having any ink getting on the press felts, so I sandwiched some extra newsprint to absorb any bleeding ink.

Though I'd been told that I would have no problem printing a drypoint onto a marbled sheet, not having it done it myself before, I couldn't be sure what would happen next. I would either have my drypoint transfer successfully onto the marbled sheet, or have my marbling end up on the the newsprint. The only way to find out, however, was to try it, so I cranked away.

After running my paper through the press, I was rewarded with this:

A little of the marbled ink bled onto my newsprint, but the marbling remained intact. Intrigued and excited, I went ahead and printed two more sheets:

I thought these prints made a nice trio, though they also work well as individual pieces. They're not perfect, and there's the risk of getting a little too decorative and confection-like with the imagery in general, but there's definitely some potential here for a compelling series, depending on the type of drawing I decide to create.

Huzzah for marbling!