Monday, October 29, 2007

Just Marbelous !

12.5mm charmeuse bag, lined in silk habotai with a braided silk ball and loop closure. Item measures 4.5" x 6.25" with a 41" strap.

Jodi Hughes of AkHotDoggies (Alaska Hot Doggies), based in Anchorage Alaska, marbles just about everything. Using washable, colorfast textile paint, she covers silk, cotton T-shirts, shoes, purses, resin, and plastic.

When asked how she got into this type of art, Jodi said, "I needed a creative hobby. I had stumbled on Dharma Trading’s website and purchased their Marbling starter kit. I can honestly say my 1st attempts did not turn out well but for some reason I kept experimenting. My friend got me hooked on thrift stores which really kicked up my inspiration. Thrift Stores are just treasure troves of ideas!!"

When dry, the finished product has some texture to it, unlike dye, as the paint sits on top rather than soaking into the fiber.

The process of how this effect is achieved is very interesting. "The marbling process for textiles takes several days," Says Jodi "sometimes more, depending on the results." The artist has outlined the instructions in her IndiePublic page using paper as an example, and it is paraphrased below.

1) First allum is prepared in an 1/8 cup per quart of warm water. Then with a damp sponge it is wiped on the object to be marbled. All areas must be covered to insure proper adherence later of paint. Then let dry completely.

2) Next, prepare the "size" either Carrageenan or Methocal (Jodi uses Methocal). This is the stuff that allows paint to float on top and swirl. 1-1.5 Oz. of this powder is stirred gradually into a gallon of warm water. After stirring for a few minutes, add 1 teaspoon of household ammonia per gallon of water. Keep stirring the mixture until it has thickened. After a few more minutes of mixing, then pour it into a tray and let sit for 15 minutes until all suds are gone. (If the suds take too long to dissolve then rake them with some newspaper).

3) Next float the paint: (Jodi uses Setacolor because it can be used on textiles as well as paper, and it is reasonably-priced.) Apply paint onto your item with a squirtbottle or eye dropper. Paint should spread when applied about 2-3 inches. If it doesn't then it is too thick and needs to be thinned. If it spreads more than that, it needs to be thickened. Use various items to swirl the paint around to get the pattern you want. Metal impliments work best because paint won't stick as much to them as it does to plastic and wood.

4) Place object upside down into the size. Make sure the whole area you have painted comes in contact with the size and that there are no air bubbles that will resist. If you decide to do other items, be sure to mop up excess paint from your workspace so that it doesn't bleed into your next piece.

Jodi recommends the book, The Ultimate Marbling Handbook by Diane Maurer-Mathison. It is a great basic beginners' guide full of information and great, colorful examples.

One of my favorite items of hers is the elegant little silk purse (pictured at very top).
It was hand-dyed bright pink, then marbled with blue and purple. At only $15.00 it is an excellent deal!

This silk tie was originally a silver gray color but after marbling it black and orange the blend of colors is quite rich but not overpowering or garrish. It looks kind of pastel Salmon, only more exciting than your typical pastel color.

And these shoes are just fabulous!

She even has marbled paper!

See all of her goodies for sale on Etsy at:

A tutorial on marbling fabric specifically is offered at this site:

Supplies for marbling can be bought here and further instructions:

More info from the artist can be found
on Myspace:

and in her Blogger profile:

To learn still more about the artist go to her blog:

No comments: