How to Marble Paper with Jemma Lewis

By Steve Harris
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We are incredibly fortunate to work with a series of fantastic artists & designers. We absolutely love working with them, none more so that the incredibly talented Jemma Lewis. 
She certainly knows a thing or two about how to marble paper so we wanted to share with you exactly how she does it! We talked to her about how she creates her designs, to the tools she uses to produce them and where she draws inspiration from - meet Jemma Lewis.

Where the magic happens

Jemma Lewis Marbling and Design was set-up in 2009. She works from a log cabin at the bottom of her garden where the interior walls are splattered with every paint colour imaginable! 

The house where Jemma Lewis marbles paper

The Process: How do you Marble Paper?

Jemma produces "hand marbled papers in the traditional way"and her "methods and equipment are not too dissimilar to how a marbling studio would have looked in the 18th century!"

She floats her watercolour gouache paints on to a thick and viscous 'size' made from an Irish seaweed. Jemma buys this as a powder, in previous times people used to have to boil and then strain the seaweed to get the right consistency for the job!

How to marble paper step 1


Once the paints are floating on the surface, Jemma uses a "variety of tools ranging from knitting needles to handmade marbling combs." These consist of up to 100 fine teeth made from pins or needles (as pictured below). 

How to marble paper step 2


She lays down a sheet of paper which has been coated with a solution of alum. This acts as a mordant and makes the paint stick to the surface. Once lifted from the surface, the pattern is magically transferred to the paper.
The colour-way and pattern variables are almost unlimited and Jemma loves "experimenting with new ideas and styles."

How to marble paper step 3

Inspiration for the designs

Jemma takes "inspiration from many places" and her "favourites include NASA and space imagery and natural forms like rocks and stones, which inspire the malachite and agate patterns."


How to marble paper step 4

Designs used on products

Harris and Jones feel very lucky working with Jemma to create a collection of beautifully decorative products. From letter trays and journals, to lever arch files and box files. You can view this wonderful marbled paper range below.

 

   

   

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