You may be aware that my theme for September is 'Italian Romance' & I'm busy working on a new stationary range in this style. While I was in Florence I noticed a lot of shops were selling handmade marbled papers. Due to my limited Italian, I wasn't sure about the history of it, so I've done a bit of research since I've been back. There seems to be a lot of debate about where marbling started, general consensus is it began in the 12th century in China or Japan. It's been a pretty interesting read actually, marbled paper was very popular in Turkey in the 15th century & was sacred - only used for religious books. There's a lot more surprising facts you can read about here, but for now I'll skip to the part about Florence.
Marbled paper was popular in most of Europe throughout the 19th century & Florence is one of the few places where this old artisan skill is still practised. For those that don't know, the marbled effect is created by adding elements to water to make it thick, so you can balance inks on the top. You can then use various techniques to create patterns. It's a pretty fun way to create a pattern, I remember doing in at school when I was about 8, so it's been really popular as a kid's activity, as well as an art form.
You've probably noticed that recently there's been a resurgence in marble patterns & you can find the designs on everything from clothing to dinnerware & art. For this reason I want to try & create something a little bit different. I do love the traditional marble look, so may offer that (I'd also love some marble items for my home), but I'm doing a few experiments with different ways of manipulating the inks, as shown in the photos. It's amazing how differently each print can be. It's also impossible to recreate the same print again, which can be frustrating!
These are the 3 designs that I want to develop further. As you can see they are quite varied, so it could end up that we'll have 3 versions of the Italian Romance print, watch this space....
Like what you see? If you like any of these designs & would like to use them for your stationary, product, home, or anything else please feel free to contact me here. Alternatively, sign up to the mailing list below to find out when the collection is finished & available online. By subscribing, you'll also receive special offers, inspiration for the home & events & free downloads.