Cosette has been marbling silk, cotton, leather, vinyl and wood products
for 11 years. Previously she worked exclusively in the batik medium for
14 years. Her love of color and the flow of colors on fabric has been a
continuous and exciting art form. Her marbling technique has been
compared to the finest Italian hand-marbled papers, arrived at only
after months of research and experimentation, and years of daily
Her work has been featured in museum catalogs such as the Smithsonian,
and the Museum of Fine Art, Boston. Her products have been sold in the
Pierpont Morgan Library and in gift shops of many fine art museums and
galleries around the country.
The fabric is dyed by hand for a background color (all the
scarves are white when they are first purchased). Also, I dye some
custom colors in the larger sheets of silk before marbling. Once the
fabric is dyed it must be completely machine washed to remove all excess
dye. Then the marbling can begin.
The washed material is soaked in a mordant (French, meaning "to bite")
which causes the marbling color to adhere to it. The mordanted material
must be hung to dry. Meanwhile, liquid hand mixed non-toxic colors are
dropped gently into a large shallow tray containing about 2 - 3 inches
of a viscous liquid made with water and carrageenan (refined seaweed
powder). The colors float on top of this liquid. When all the colors
are sprinkled on, then the mixture is raked back and forth with
different "combs" made of rows of pins attached to a board, spaced at
differing intervals for making the patterns. Once the patterns are
achieved and can be seen floating, the material is carefully laid on top
of this design. The material immediately absorbs the color and is
lifted off, taking all the floating color with it, then rinsed and hung
to dry. When the marbled material is dry, it is again washed in the
machine to remove all excess mordant, and then dried in the dryer. The
material is ready to be made into unique one of a kind items.
Marbling is quite a fascinating and demanding process (once one expects certain results). Otherwise if it is done for fun, the results can be surprising and wonderful, even for beginners. That's what makes all the preparatory work worthwhile!