Suminagashi marbling is a Japanese paper marbling technique that involves floating sumi ink on water in concentric rings. While relatively easy, there are still a few things that can go wrong while you’re marbling, so here are some tips if you’re running into trouble on your marbled paper.
Problem: Ink isn’t Floating
Answer: add another drop of dispersant to your ink, squeeze any excess ink from your brush with your fingertips, or try skimming the water before adding ink to the surface.
Problem: Ink rings are blurring after you make a print
Answer: try holding your brush in the water for less time, so that less ink is deposited on the surface of the water, and/or after you make a print, submerse the entire sheet of paper under the water bath and gently shake back and forth to dislodge extra ink.
Problem: ”whisker” marks on your marbled paper
Answer: lay the paper down more gently when you take a print – whisker marks are caused by tiny air gusts flowing under the paper as you lay it down on the water’s surface. (they can also be a neat effect to experiment with)
Problem: Ink rings aren’t expanding
Answer: Skim the surface of the water with newspaper strips thoroughly before you start adding ink to the water – dust trapped on the surface increases surface tension, and doesn’t allow rings to expand properly
Problem: Water is getting murky
Answer: squeeze excess ink from the brush with your fingertips, only dip the very tip of the brush on the surface of the water – no deeper than 1/8″ – imagine only dipping your fingernail into the water.
An oldie but a goodie – I can’t beleive I made this almost exactly 2 years ago. For a while I was on a hardcover case-bound book bender, before I switched to coptic stitch books. Part of the reason I like coptic stitch better than the traditional “hardcover” book you see here is that you can make all of the covers ahead of time, and the balance of papers on the front and back of the covers keeps them from warping. Not so on a case bound book, where you need to adhere or “case in” the text block (shown here in different shades of Canson MiTienes paper) as soon as possible after covering the cover and spine, or you risk the board warping as it dries.
This little square book was purchased by a friends at a Christmas show, and it has navy blue Italian rayon book cloth, an elastic strap to keep it shut, and an inset old fashioned illustration of a wasp (or bee? probably a wasp)
Inspired? Hand Bookbinding: A Manual of Instruction is a good guide to bookbinding if you want to give it a try.
The story behind this little Paris-themed handmade book is that it’s the first I’ve made in over four months! This might not seem like such a long time, but because of a cross country move I’ve had to pack up nearly all of my bookbinding studio supplies and put them into storage.
Right now I’m living in my grandparents’ house, and though they passed away this year they’ve left a household full of odds and ends which I’ve used to make this little book (which may still be available for sale in my etsy shop)
The Paris map came from an out-of-date travel guide (“loose change is sufficient tip for your waiter at most cafes”) along with the cool “6 Parisians you should know” endpapers – the cover shows the Louvre museum and downtown Paris. The filler paper was a small stack of notepaper I found in my Grandpa’s desk. I glued the covers, made from notepad backing board, with some white craft glue, and pressed them under a stack of heavy books, since I don’t have my book press with me.
My grandparents lived in Poiters, France for four years in the sixties, and my grandma in particular LOVED France, so I made this with her in mind It might still be available in my etsy shop, depending on when you’re reading this.
Suminagashi is a gorgeous type of paper marbling invented in Japan over 1,000 years ago. I wrote a post a while ago when I taught a suminagashi marbling class at Clark University and you can see every step of the process. Basically you float rings of black sumi ink (I really like using this Yasutomo brand [...]
It’s tutorial Tuesday! I am sharing great bookbinding tutorials I’ve found around the web on Tuesdays – today’s tutorial is about a mysterious sounding bookbinding style called “Secret Belgian Binding” – This binding was invented in the mid 1980s by Anne Goy, a Belgian bookbinder. She was looking for a Western version of the traditional Japanese [...]
I love Washi Tape! A friend from Japan sent me a huge care package of washi tape, a thin Japanese masking tape with designs printed on it ( you can even get washi tape on Amazon)- I used the tape to create this pretty striped pattern on raw book board, and then sealed the whole thing [...]
It’s tutorial Tuesday! I am sharing great bookbinding tutorials I’ve found around the web on Tuesdays – today’s tutorial is about making an accordion book photo album – a lovely gift to give to friends or relatives. This lovely tutorial was made by Carrie who writes at Making Lemonade: freshly squeezed ideas for home and family click [...]
These blue chart journals are always a huge hit at craft shows – before my Christmas fairs this year I made at least 10 and they all sold out! The bathemetry charts I used are underwater topography maps and show the elevation of the sea floor – the local NOAA office was going to recycle them [...]
It’s tutorial Tuesday! I am sharing great bookbinding tutorials I’ve found around the web on Tuesdays – today’s tutorial is about a very popular but tricky style called chain stitch (also known as coptic stitch). This step by step tutorial by Shelly at Cat-Sidh has tons of photos and detailed directions though - click on the link [...]
I made this book specially for a friend who went traveling around the national parks out in the West and wanted to document her trip. I wanted a woodsy feel so I went with raw book board – I also did a little hand-drawn woodgrain pattern on the inside with black and gold pen.
The animals are [...]