The art of paper marbling first started with coloring only the surface of paper in order to conserve it longer. As new and more sophisticated techniques came about and people became more educated, beautiful decorated papers were made to cover sacred books. The art of hand-decorating paper, probably started by the Arabians, is mainly used to finish the leather bookbinding. Easier techniques of paper coloring consist of manually spreading the color onto the paper. The earliest known type of paper marbling dates back as far as the 8th century in China.
It was a the more complex floating technique that was brought to Europe through the Islamic Orient by the end of the 16th century. The color is thinned with gall and then dripped on a jelly substance made with boiled sea lichen or tragacanth; the paper is then imprinted with those colors that had been previously manipulated in order to create any type of pattern. Combs are used to create an infinite number of designs. During 1970´s the marbling art was brought back to life in Florence.
Our florentine marbled paper courses programs include: Decoration of paper with acrylic colour in a bath of vegetable glue and techniques of decoration with special combs. Preparation of glues, proportions and resting times. Construction of special tools for combing of colour. Preparation of colours, dilutions an addition of soaps or waxes for creating different effects. Test of colours. Methods of spraying colour on the surface of the glue. Creation of decorated sheet. Use of sheets to decorate objects like albums, boxes, pencils, pen holders, letter holders, and cards.
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