The marbling process involves floating paints, acrylic or gouache, on a gel-like water surface and moving them around with the use of a stylus and other tools to create a unique design that is then lifted onto a alum-treated paper that has been laid on the surface.
Marbling has existed for centuries around the world. Dating as far back as the 12th century as Suminagashi in Japan, to the 15th century as Ebru in Turkey and Persia and finally finding its way to Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries where it was used by bookbinders as endpapers on the inside cover of fine books.
Today many artisans create both traditional patterns and contemporary ones hoping to revive this ancient art form. Marbled papers are still used by bookbinders and stationers today and marbled designs can be found on wallpaper, lampshades, fabrics and as surface design on a variety of ceramic, wood and paper mache objects.