In this issue:
Paper marbling sprawls continents and centuries and relies on a variety of techniques to produce its stone-like or curlicue effects. We'll explore two different marbling techniques, and once you understand the basics of paper marbling, you can experiment to find the method you like best. Then use your marbled paper for cards, gift wrap, or stick it in a frame for one-of-a-kind art!
What You Need:
What you do:
First, you prepared the paper with a mordant, a substance used to set dyes. Mordants are used to set dye on fabrics and paper and to augment staining of cell and tissue samples. Since we used the mordant before the dying process, it's called pre-mordanting or onchrome. Meta-mordanting, or metachrome, means the mordant is included in the dye, and post-mordanting, or after-chrome, is when mordant is applied following the dying process.
Once the mordanted paper was dry, you transferred a paint design from a viscous solution's surface to the paper. You did this by making a size, or a substance used to alter the way the paper interacts with liquids. Specifically, the size slows the paper's absorption rate, allowing the paint to adhere to the paper's surface rather than being absorbed. Since the size has higher density than the paint, the design you made sits atop the size. Can you think of other materials you could use to make a size?
Tips: If your water stream isn't gentle enough, it will wash off some of your paint, too!
A common mistake is layering the paint too thick atop the size; a little goes a long way.
Try making the classic nonpareil pattern by first raking the length of your size container, then carefully raking the width. See the link below for more patterns.
Way Cool Websites
More liquid density science projects:
Another less-precise paper-marbling method uses shaving cream as the size. Here's how.