21 January 2015
Printmaking takes many forms and is often associated with complex and lengthy processes. How wonderful then that paper marbling is easy, versatile and produces uniquely beautiful mono-types that can be applied to a myriad of uses, from bookbinding to gift-wraps and decorations.
Following on from our box and envelope project, we take 3-D forms a step further and draw inspiration from the intricate cuts and natural geometry of faceted stones. Perhaps you're planning to give one this Valentine's Day? Or maybe you'll be lucky enough to receive one! Whatever use you put these gem-like boxes to, the project is an irresistible mix of solid geometry and the pleasing alchemy of this stunning tradition.
- Heavy watercolor paper
- Marbling Colors
- Bone folder
- Scissors or precision knife
- Ruler (or a scoring board)
- Lead pencil
- Little stick or dowel
- A shallow tub for water (slightly bigger than your paper)
Fill the tray / tub with regular tap water. Make sure to use something you don't mind getting a bit dirty.
Take the first color of ink you want to use and - by gently tapping your finger on the back of the bottle - release a few drops that will float on the water. Notice how the color disperses on the surface.
Now, in the same way, add as many colors as you like. You will see how each ink pushes the others away without blending. The more ink you add, the darker and more intense the colors will become. Just be sure to do this step quickly, as the ink starts to dry straight away.
When you are happy with your colors, take a little stick and drag the tip through the inks. You will see the ink follow the trail of the stick, creating a more intricate pattern.
The more you drag, the more intricate the pattern will become. There are a lot of factors you can play with here so have fun! Just take care to do things swiftly as the ink will start to clot fairly quickly.
Take your sheet of paper and gently lay it on the floating ink. Make sure the whole paper is in contact with the ink. Don't leave it on for too long - max 4 seconds.
Take out your sheet of paper and let the water run off. Lay it aside to dry.
Print off one of the templates and cut it out along the solid lines using scissors or a precision knife.
Lay the template on the backside of one of your marbled pieces of paper. Accurately trace the outline of the template with a lead pencil.
Cut your shape along the outline using scissors or a precession knife.
All the dashed lines on the template are folds. Using the template as a guide, score your folds using a ruler and the pointed end of a bone folder. The bone folder is a bookbinder's tool used for making a perfect fold. Do take care as it has a slight off set from the ruler.
Make inward folds on all of the scored lines.
The filled-in areas on the template are the flaps to be glued. Start by applying glue to the longest flap and creating the bottom cone. From here you can glue the flaps in any order you find easiest.
Make sure all glue is dry before you try to close the box. When all is dry, simply close the box by gently pushing the side with the pointed end into the flat ended half.
And ready for treats!