Oh, how I love a lovely paper to marble upon.
Yes, I have my go-to “practice” paper that I prefer to marble on. And I always have a wide variety of papers (of varying weights, colors, and styles) available in my classes so students can experience what it’s like to marble on different papers. Then there’s my favorite “professional” paper, the dreamy, creamy one that I marble on for commissions or special projects.
But then there are those OTHER papers, the ones that take marbling to a whole different level. These are the papers that you work WITH and not simply marble ON. You take into consideration their unique properties, be it a color, texture, how it was made, where it came from, or what already exists on (or in!) it.
And the papers in Vintage Page Designs' monthly paper club are those OTHER papers.
I happened to have the luck of having Ali Manning, the woman behind Vintage Page Designs, in my Clouds on Water eCourse (more on that in a future blog post!). A most talented book artist, I fell in love with her work and have taken a keen interest in all her creative endeavors. When she announced her paper club, I was immediately interested, knowing the papers were not going to be just your every-day-run-of-the-mill variety.
And I wasn’t wrong.
Ali graciously sent me a sampling of papers from her club offerings to test for marble-ability. My batch included very heavy, textured papers in pink, silver, and white and two different medium-weight papers – one with DILL sprinkled throughout it and the other with beautiful blue Larkspur petals.
What a wonderful experience it was to work with all these papers. First of all, the papers are handmade so each one is a piece of art imbued with the love of the paper maker. If you’re a sensitive soul like me, you can actually feel the paper vibrate with artistic energy. Secondly, the gorgeous characteristics of the papers made it an absolute delight to strategize how I was going to marble on them to best bring out or complement their beauty. And while the papers made with Larkspur and dill were stunning, it was the thick, heavily textured papers that stole my heart (there was something about their weight, about all the groves and bumps and topographical personality that appealed to me and resonated with my adventurous spirit). And finally, and most importantly to this girl, all the papers marbled beautifully.
I can’t recommend more highly these papers as a great addition to one’s marbling explorations. They are stunning by themselves and get a boost of WOWZA with a touch of marbling tossed into the equation. The papers are great for making books, cards, and mixed media work. And if you need help with your bookmaking skills, Ali has some great tutorials to help you put your papers to extraordinary use.
For more info on the paper club, visit Vintage Book Designs' website at www.VintagePageDesigns.com.
Marbling Tips for Vintage Books Designs Paper Club:
- The papers need to be alummed. I have found some 100% cotton rag papers don’t need to be but I tested the papers without alum and the paint slid right off!
- Because of the bumps and grooves in most of the papers (especially the thicker, heavily textured ones), I gave them the twice over with alum, alumming once and then again (still wet) so as not to miss getting into the nooks and crannies of the little crevices.
- Let the natural beauty of the paper shine through. There is no need to cover over the papers that incorporate delicate elements into them, such as flowers, leaves, and herbs. Instead, I marbled Italian Vein on them which framed their organic gifts rather than hid them. On the other hand, for the thick, heavily textured papers, I used a combo of transparent and opaque paints, often ending on a transparent paint so the texture of the paper could still be seen.
- Because these papers are thicker/heavier, it’s important to make sure you do not get “ahead of the lay,” meaning make sure you don’t drop the far corner of your paper on top of the bath before the middle part of the paper is laid down…otherwise you’ll end up with air bubbles.
- Consider marbling on BOTH sides of the papers. Most are thick enough that the marbled designs won’t cast shadows or even show through the other side.
Vintage Page Designs Paper Club Details:
- Some quick facts below. Be sure to head over to her website for more details or to sign up for her newsletter.
- All of the paper is handmade by Vermont paper maker Richard Langdell.
- The paper is made from 100% cotton rag and has been internally sized and buffered.
- Each sheet has four deckled edges and measures approx. 19″ x 25″.
- All sheets are nice and thick with an approximate weight of 200-300lb, unless otherwise noted.
- The papers are perfect for making books, cards and mixed media work.
- Six exclusive papers are showcased on the 1st of the month. Orders close on the 10th of the month (unless already sold out) for shipping by the 15th.
- There is no commitment – you can order one month and not the next. Sign up on Ali’s mailing list to be notified of when the papers are selected.