In June 2013 we had the pleasure to host a public Papermarbling Workshop, facilitated by our AIR Carey Watters (WI, USA), Assistant Professor in Graphic Design and Typography at the University of Wisconsin.
Paper marbling is a traditional printmaking technique: a method of aqueous surface design, which can produce patterns similar to marble or stone, often used in bookbinding and stationary making. Carey has been working with this technique for years, playing with surfaces and transparencies and creating both beautiful standalone works and creative stationery sets.
While in Residency Carey experimented with antique atlas maps, designed and hand-bound notebooks, and even marbled one of our baked cotto tiles!
With a disposition as sunny as the terrace where her works dried out, floating in color, Carey proved to be a natural teacher, spending time with us in the Residency explaining and allowing us to try out her techniques, and proposing a workshop for the local community- which of course we we re delighted to host.
On the day of the workshop the participants crowded into the upstairs studio and around the table, where Carey began by demonstrating the basics of the technique.
(Before the workshop, Carey mentioned laughing how everytime she runs this particular workshop the first ‘reveal’ of the marbling on paper is always welcomed with a big ‘…oooooooh!’ from the crowd – …and this was exactly what happened!) Soon after the initial surprise, people who had never tried their hand at papermarbling or anything similar had the opportunity to experiment for the first time, and make up their own papermarbling patterns.
Another fascinating aspect of the workshop was to see that absolutely all ages were able to create some fun and unique works. Here is the lovely Cumpà Antonio (80 years +) proudly showing his finished piece!
As the patterns dried over the next few days, Carey and Pina started binding the finished works as covers for notebooks, that were then distributed to all the workshop participants as a souvenir of the day. Thank you Carey for allowing us a peek into the fascinating world of paper marbling and book binding!