Making marbled papers with Louise Brockman

Bookbinding and paper marbling

Ref: SWE11397

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About this course

Start with Suminagashi using Chinese inks to produce delicate papers. Progress to traditional marbling techniques using gouache paints to produce papers in standard patterns and others of your design.

Course Description

This course introduces the techniques required to produce marbled papers. The aim is for you to gain the knowledge and skills to be able to set up a marbling tank from scratch and be able to marble paper independently and proficiently. The history of marbling will be discussed and examples of papers examined to broaden knowledge.

You will begin with suminagashi, which uses Chinese inks floating on water to produce delicate but effective papers, using some of the same techniques as traditional marbling. Using these skills you will progress onto traditional marbling techniques using gouache paints to produce a range of papers in a set of standard patterns of increasing complexity, along with your own designs.

You will learn all the skills required using slightly oversized A4 sized trays, but it is intended that everyone will gain the confidence to marble using a large tray (70cm x 50cm) by the end of the course.

The following will all be covered:

• Setting up the marbling size in the tanks.

• Mixing the paints and expanding agents.

• Treating the paper with a mordant.

• Trouble-shooting issues.

• Colour and pattern matching.

The first evening of the course will be spent making up the size, and setting up other materials and equipment for the next day.

It is possible to accommodate those with a bit of experience who want a refresh, but also want to work independently. Guidance will be on hand.

The course will be taught with a mixture of demonstrations and group discussions, but will mainly involve hands-on time producing a range of beautiful patterned papers to take away.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • All the materials required for this course will be provided by the tutor and used by the group as a whole.

What students need to bring

  • A roll of kitchen paper
  • You may wish to bring a cardboard tube or portfolio to transport your papers home.
  • All paper is provided, but you may also wish to bring along any papers you would like to try marbling on.
  • Please bring an apron and wear old clothes – try to avoid any clothing that is too woolly/fluffy, as it can interfere with the marbling size surface.

Available to buy

  • Available from tutor:
  • Some marbling materials will be available to purchase, along with a selection of the tutor’s hand marbled papers.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Louise Brockman

Louise originally trained and worked as a Secondary School Science Teacher. After juggling full-time teaching with working for the family bookbinding business something had to give, so she left education and now works full-time with her husband Stuart. A long time admirer of marbled paper she took several courses which started an interest in this amazing and satisfying craft.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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