Silk Marbling Demo

I live in a suburb of Saint Louis. Although I have a lot of connections with fellow artists in this area, there are few silk painters here. As a result, I have had to rely on the Interwebs to get my silk painting class fix and the Silk Painters International Forum in order to get meaningful exchanges on the medium and what works.

After perusing various and sundry YouTube videos, blogs, ebooks, and web pages, I came across a few demonstrations on silk marbling. For those of you unfamiliar with this art, “Ebru”—the Turkish art of marbling—is the process whereby the artist splatters paint on a thickened gel and then dips paper, fabric, or another object onto it, thereby transferring the marbled paint design onto the surface of the object.
When I saw these seasoned artists spattering their paint onto surfaces, marblingdemo002skillfully manipulating them, and then immersing the final object to reveal a beautiful painting with seemingly effortless moves, I was amazed. I had to try it. And I knew my daughter, who was a skilled marbler of nail art, would be the perfect assistant.

So we decided to experiment. I wanted to feature the pics of our first attempts at marbling on fabric and include a thorough explanation of the process. Keep in mind that photos are done with my cell phone camera (which I unfortunately cannot hold while I work.)

Below: The setup area and our first attempts at manipulating the paint on top of sizing.

Our first attempts were done on carageenan in an 11″x 17″ disposable cookie sheet. A few weeks later, my handyman hubby built a large tray which would accommodate the 15″x 60″ silk scarf blanks I use. We marbled eight scarves, which we donated to American Cancer Society’s “Look Good Feel Better” program, St. Louis Chapter.

If you want to know more details about the marbling process, a full set of two-page instructions are available for download by clicking this link: silk-marbling-the-process

Thanks for visiting my blog today. Hope you found it informative and it inspires you to marble!

Lois