Marbling Questions
  • Hi! I've been playing with the Marbling Kit for a few days, and I've got some questions I haven't been able to figure out answers to...would appreciate some insight from an Expert :)

    1) How much of the mordant has to be removed from the paper after marbling? It seems like the paper's a little slimy no matter how much I rinse, even if I agitate a little with my fingers...I'm afraid to ruin the design. What's the worst that will happen if a LITTLE of the gel is left on?

    2) Related..I hang these sheets to dry, and there's always a puddle at the bottom edge of the sheet (almost like a rim of the gel and liquid, I guess)...any way to avoid this? Afraid that if I dab with a paper towel I'll mess up the image?

    3) My colors don't seem to spread well at all when I use them as-is, but watering them down even a little makes them too pastel for my tastes. How else can you make them spread more? (It's not the mordant...I've used other paints that spread out just fine.)

    4) I've also used this kit by substituting other paints. Specifically, I used Pearl Ex powders mixed with an acrylic medium. These spread beautifully and are interesting to work with over dark papers, but don't seem to have the 'sticking' power that the watercolors with the kit have. Some of the intensity seems to rinse off in that last step. Any way to correct that? I swear I'm being as gentle as possible here!

    5) How can you tell if the mordant is getting too old? What does it do (or not do) that I can tell when it's time to make more?

    Thanks!
  • Hi,
    A small about of methocel or alum may be left on the paper but this should not cause any problems. Leave the colors to dry completely and then re-wash the paper. Once the colors are dry they are set and permanent and should withstand gentle abrasion. Dry the sheets flat if you can. That will stop dripping. Anything that thins the paint will also dilute the colors so avoid diluting the colors too much if you can. Sorry not much you can do regarding this issue. It may be the medium that you are using that isn't giving good adhesion. Try using a different acrylic medium or paint. It is always best to use fresh chemicals. Atmospheric conditions can cause deterioration but it is difficult to say, as we do not know how the chemicals are being stored. Add Calgon to the Alum mordant to soften the water if needed.
    Celia
  • Okay..I'm back with two more questions, and responses to your suggestions...

    First of all, what is "EXTENDER"? I see it in the product list for Jacquard marbling products, but don't know what it's used for.

    Secondly, what will adding water softener to the alum do? I've seen reference in several places to add it 'if needed' - how do I know I need it? What happens exactly when the water's too hard?

    1) How much of the mordant has to be removed from the paper after marbling?

    I found a better way to rinse that took care of most of this.

    2) Related..I hang these sheets to dry, and there's always a puddle at the bottom edge of the sheet ...

    I just swipe the bottom edge periodically...if I forget, I get a little edge I need to trim.

    3) My colors don't seem to spread well at all when I use them as-is, but watering them down even a little makes them too pastel for my tastes. How else can you make them spread more?

    Apparently I need to add a surfactant if the colors aren't spreading well. Jet-dry was suggested to me, but WOW, it's hard to use LITTLE enough of it to get it to work...but I've had some success with it. More experimentation needed, and there are other more professional surfactants to check into.

    4) I've also used this kit by substituting other paints. Specifically, I used Pearl Ex powders mixed with an acrylic medium.

    I will try another medium to rule that out. Peggy Skycraft suggested that perhaps the problem is also in the paper I'm using.

    Thanks for your help, and hope you can answer my 2 new questions (ABOVE). THANKS!
  • Hi,
    Adding water softener to hard water will help the chemicals dispenser better. If you are in a hard water area you will notice limescale buildup in your tub etc. As for a surfactant try Synthrapol or Golden Artist Color’s "Flow Release".
    Celia