This marbling is really getting interesting and I’m learning so much.
This next session I tried using Marbo Gum from PRO Chemical & Dye as the thickener for the size (water bath). It’s so much cheaper, and supposedly lasts much longer than carrageenan, and is easier to deal with. So even though the carrageenan worked great, just like a dog with a bone, I needed to try something else.
I made two baths, followed the directions and even let it set overnight. I wanted to try Pro Marbling Paint and thought this was the best time to do it with this new type of size.
In the morning, the paints would not spread on the first size. These marbling paints are already liquid and ready to go, but they just were blobs on top of the size. I added a marbling surfactant which is suppose to help the colors spread out and float. No luck. I threw that size out and was prepared to make some carrageenan when I tried the smaller bath. It worked.
I have a several ideas on why this size worked.
- It could be that the smaller container was stirred better and it was crystal clear as opposed to the larger pan that had some bubbles.
- It could have been I finally had enough surfactant in the paints that they had to float.
- But the more I’ve read, I think it was because the size water and the paint have to be the same temperature. By the time I got around to using the second size, the paints were probably at the same temp.
Above you see three pieces of cardstock that I marbled in this size with the Pro Marbling Paint. The paint was vibrant on the paper and I understand why paper marblers use this paint. And it’s already mixed up and pretty cost effective.
Also with this experiment of new size and paint, I added a new tool – brushes made out of plastic broomstraw. Buy a cheap broom, cut off the straw, and bundle. These straws are dipped in the paint and then splattered over the size, using them instead of the pipettes.
I found that using these resulted in smaller circles which I liked. I don’t think I’d use them all of the time, but they provided a different look.
I also experimented on a silk scarf I had dyed with Colorhue.
I used the teal paint but on the rust scarf it turned pretty dark. See how small the bubbles are? I like that.
Here are a couple of the fabric pieces I marbled.
This piece was one of the pieces I ice dyed with Tulip Dyes.
I loved the pattern and just a little touch of red but the colors are not bright like the acrylics. They seem pretty washed out.
This next one is marbling over a piece of that Setacolored sun printed fabric.
The paint appears brighter on this piece, but still not what I got using the acrylics. But I really liked the pattern.
The following is one of my low immersion dyed pieces.
The colors on this piece are pretty blah. Also, I found out that I should not iron on top of the marbled side. I had done that with the acrylic with no problems. However, with this paint it’s not a good idea. It seems to mess them up. Then I read where you really shouldn’t iron on the marbled side regardless of what you use. Another one of those lessons learned.
Regarding the Marbo Gum, even though it did work for me, I didn’t like how the paint was suspended halfway down the size. With the carrageenan, after pulling a piece of fabric, you can clean off the top of the size with a piece of paper. It then is clear down to the bottom. There might be some paint on the bottom, but you can see through the size. On the Marbo Gum, it was hard to see my design after marbling a bit because some of the paint was suspended below the surface. Made it real confusing. It may be less expensive but I won’t use it again.
As for the marbling paints, I’ve got another experiment to go before I make my final decision on them. At this point, for paper they are great. I’d recommend them for anyone wanting to marble paper. For fabric, the jury is still out. Please stay tuned.