|The history of paper marbling is somewhat obscure. It is thought to have originated in Japan, perhaps around the 12th century. Japanese marbling is called Suminagashi. From Japan it traveled to Turkey around the 15th century. Traditional Turkish marbling is called Ebru. From there it made its way into European countries over the next couple of centuries. It was primarily used for bookbinding in those times. In more recent times, the art has been revived and beautiful marbled paper is used for a wide variety of decorative purposes.
Marbled paper is made by floating colors on a seaweed bath. The colors are drawn into patterns (called combed patterns) with combs and rakes, or left as is (called stone patterns). Paper prepared with alum is then laid on the bath and the colors instantly bond to the paper. The paper is then rinsed and allowed to dry. The colors do not run. Each sheet of marbled paper is different from every other.
Paper marbling can be done with water-base paints, oils, or acrylics. The traditional method, which is what I use, employs water-base colors. I marble sheets that are approximately 19" x 25". I generally use acid-free paper, though I sometimes marble on brown kraft paper. There are many standard patterns that, with unlimited color selections, provide infinite variety in the sheets.
My papers are sold primarily through art and craft shows in and around the Denver, Colorado, area. Because each sheet is different, they don't lend themselves well to online sales, as each sheet would need to be photographed separately so that you would know what you're getting. However, if you are interested in purchasing some papers, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss possibilities.