The video above is a compilation of clips filmed over about 15 minutes of marbling. The total amount of time it took me to finish the illustration was around two hours.
Marbling as a process relies on a number of variables all of which are sensitive to circumstance. For example, the quality of the carageenan, the gel-like liquid on which I was marbling, plays a heavy role in the movement of the paints which are spread on top. If the carageenan is particularly thick or thin, results can be drastically different. In the video above the carageenan was the thickest I had ever worked with, though it only sat mixed for one day. This is because I was staying in Massachusetts this winter and the environment was drier and colder compared to when I had previously marbled in Savannah, where the air was much more humid and warm. As a result of the congealing, the carageenan was not as responsive to manipulation and I had to use many small, repetitive strokes to shift it, which led to a different overall appearance. Also, the paint did not spread on the surface in the same way and instead seemed to sit on it more like the way paint sits on paper. To counteract this, I tried to wet the surface with a spray bottle. This helped the paint spread over the surface but the colors still did not move well with the carageenan. This technique led to the presence of a different visual effect than marbling usually produces, something I might compare to watercolor. How fluid the paints are, how you place the paper onto the surface of the carageenan, the proportions of the mordant mix, the material content of the paper, and how long after treatment the paper is used also all have an impact on the final result.
In the end Marbling is a technique I will continue to use and explore in the future. I look forward to discovering creative solutions in or through marbling.
For more information on marbling, visit these pages: