Last weekend I and my two friends Anne and Christina took a paper technique class with this wonderful couple, Per and Kerstin Nilsson, just outside of Lund in southern Sweden. This post is (although it´s long) a short summary of the incredibly inspiring class we took. If you are interested in marbling, or in the classes Per and Kerstin give, check towards the end of this post for more info.
I don´t remember the last time I learned so much in just two days – Per and Kerstin are fantastic teachers. The class included a lot – three different marbling techniques, building paper folders and portfolios, the history behind marbled papers, printing titles on books, and some more.
Kerstin took care of the marbling techniques. We tried our hand at suminagashi (a Japanese technique with ink on water), oil colours on water and oil colours on Tylose ground. She taught us how to mix colours to the right consistency to make them work well on the ground, and how to make marbled patterns with different combs and sticks.
We marbled everything from papers to textiles to shoes, we were so into it that when the evening came, our dear teachers had to tear us away from the marbling trays. Once you get started on marbling, you just can´t stop…
There is an endless amount of knowledge to pick up around marbling. The Tylose ground was a new acquaintance to me, and the four different trays we used behaved a little differently depending on temperature, colours used, the consistency of the colours… The reactions of the colours change depending on in what order you drip them into the tray. Every little change you make in the process gives a new result on the paper (or textile). Once you´ve tried one thing, you discover something new that you want to try next, which is why this is so addictive. There is a lot of experimenting involved in these techniques, and the possibilities are never ending.
Per taught us how to make a big portfolio to hold our large sheets of marbled papers, and A4 size folders dressed with marbled paper.
He showed us a lot of useful tips and tricks about paper folding, gluing and how to make your work flow more effective, a lot of which I will use next time I bind a new sketchbook. I finally learned how to make those professional-looking beautiful corners on books – my next sketchbook will be sooo purty! 😉
Per also showed us how to print letters and patterns on book cloth (for example on book spines), so we all tried our hand at printing our names in gold on the A4 folders. I never knew how that was done, it was a bit tricky to learn how to do it right, but it turned out well in the end.
During the whole weekend, Per and Kerstin shared their vast knowledge about the history of paper and marbling with us, along with anecdotes from all their journeys and exhibitions. We got to see samples of papers from all over the world. An incredibly inspiring weekend for a paper freak like me.
If you want to know more about Per and Kerstin´s classes, don´t hesitate to call them: 046-24 93 10. (If you don´t speak Swedish, I think French or English would do just fine.)
For those of you who read Swedish, Per and Kerstin Nilsson are the authors of Sweden´s best book about marbling, “Marmorera och dekorera med papper och färg” (ISBN 91-7136-460-9). If you have any interest whatsoever in marbling, get the book!