In this week’s guest tutorial, mixed media artist Bianca Mandity shares some tips for creating marbleized paper with Copic Various Ink. Enjoy!
When I was in school I learned how to marbleize paper traditionally using a chemical bath. I loved the look of the papers, but was concerned about the chemicals needed to produce the marbleizing effect. Ever since, I’ve been searching for a way to marbleize without the chemicals. I tried doing the shaving cream process, but found it expensive since you can’t reuse the shaving cream and the results didn’t really look like the real thing. One day when cleaning up my craft mat, I noticed my Copic ink was floating in some hand sanitizer that I’d spilled while cleaning my hands. A light bulb went on over my head. This process creates beautiful results without the chemicals of traditional marbleizing or the expense of using shaving cream.
For this tutorial you will need: Copic Various Ink, antibacterial hand santizer, palate knife, non-stick craft sheet, comb and X-Press It blending card or marker paper.
Step One: On your non-stick surface place a large amount of hand santizer and spread out with the palate knife. Don’t spread it too thin, as this will mess up the surface tension when it comes time to marbleize. You want it be no thinner than the thickness of heavy card stock.
Step Two: Drop a single drop of each of your colors onto your hand sanitizer.
Step Three: Take your comb and drag it through the ink and the hand sanitizer. You want to make sure and mix it well or it will transfer as one giant blob of color.
Step Four: Gently lay your paper down onto the gel. Let it set for a minute, don’t push or move it, just let it set. You’ll start to see the patterns showing up. If there are any spots where the colors don’t show up, gently press it down into the mixture.
Step Five: Grab your paper by the corners and lift straight off. Flip over and take a look at your beautiful marbleized paper.
Hint: If you have extra sanitizer setting on the top, you can hit the bottom with a heat gun to help set the colors and then lay a paper towel on top to soak up the extra sanitizer. Be careful not to drag or rub it. Just let it set and soak for a while and then lift off. You can also leave the extra sanitizer. It will eventually dry and might crackle slightly, but won’t destroy the marbleizing.
You can reuse your sanitizer by scraping it together the the palate knife and adding more color. But eventually it will turn brown and no longer marbleize cleanly. How long this takes depends on how much ink you use each time. When the sanitizer becomes dirty, simply wipe up with a paper towel and begin again.