Marbling #2 – Turkish/Ebru marbling -Size and Mordant


Turkish/ebru marbling, the colorful style known for its use in bookbinding, does require a few special materials for good prints.

1. Carageenan – this is used mixed with water for the “size”, the liquid on which the ink or paint floats. It thickens the water so that the ink will sit on the surface, and helps the ink spread at a reasonable rate. It costs about $2-3/oz. and is usually sold in 8oz or 16oz bags at art/craft stores or online.

Carageenan used to be more common, as it was used for thickening food products (like ice cream); there considered to be some toxicity, however, and it is not used as much these days. However, it’s very safe to work with, so you can use kitchen supplies to measure and mix it.

2. Alum – this is mixed with hot water as a mordant to get the finished pattern to stick to the paper or fabric being marbled. It costs about $1/oz and is also sold in 8oz/16oz bags at art/craft stores or online.
Continue reading “Marbling #2 – Turkish/Ebru marbling -Size and Mordant”


Marbling #1 – Suminagashi

Since I have begun learning about paper marbling, I wanted to share some methods and materials, especially with an eye towards keeping things as simple and inexpensive as possible. You don’t have to have the finest inks and papers to marble, and there is no need to buy many special supplies to get started.


Continue reading “Marbling #1 – Suminagashi”