How not to loose your marbles.

Marble paper instead!  My daughter and I spent the evening practicing the art of Suminagashi. A past co-student and great artist had told me how she spent hours marbling paper, partly because she lost track of time.  It is really engaging.  I found a good video tutorial(1) on Youtube and had to try it. Went back to Dolphin Paper and asked what would be good to use.  They offered two types of papers with varying weights and colors.  I went with the bugra.  It is slightly toothed on one side and has a light square pattern that allows for easy measuring when cutting.  It also feels a bit like cloth.  I already had the other tools for the process.  Suminagashi means "floating ink" and had been practiced in Japan since the early 12th century (2).  Do to limited space, we used a 9x13 casserole dish for our water basin.  We used a mason jar for the "white ink", which is a drop of dish soap to 1 cup water.  (This is very important, too much soap and it doesn't work right, we found this out ;-) We use Higgins black India ink for the color.  I imagine you can use any waterproof ink.  Use two brushes, one for ink in one hand, and one for soap water in the other, and begin. Touch the black ink to the surface of the water and alternate soap/ink/soap/  We didn't carry on this too long as we were working with a small space.  When we were happy with the spontaneous design we laid the paper on the surface and waited a couple minutes, pulled, and placed it on a paper towel, face up, to dry.  I patted the tops of a few and realized that wasn't a good idea. It took up some of the ink and gave my marbled paper some towel prints. Ugh!.  Oh well.  It is great for all ages and super relaxing.