Thursday, 17 April 2014

Extraordinary Prints from Ordinary Objects - M

M is for Marbling!

Marbling the traditional way can be a tad intimidating. 
However, there are some very simple shortcuts for the less
patient (like me). Below are instructions for super easy 
marbling - using shaving cream. AND it smells nice and fresh!

Cotton marbled using the shaving cream method.

You will need:
1. a pan (I use tinfoil roasting pans, but any
container large enough to hold your fabric will do).
2. a can of shaving cream
3. Fabric pigments - Colour Vie pigments mixed with a small 
amount of Base and Resfix works a treat!
4. a plastic ruler or scraper
5. white cotton (or other) fabric cut to size to fit in the pan
6. Plastic or newspaper to protect your working area.

Another cotton fabric marbled with shaving cream.

And this is what you do:
1. Fill the pan with shaving cream almost to the top
2. Use a plastic ruler or other implement to smooth 
the top of the shaving cream until it is flat.
3. Place drops of fabric pigment on top of the shaving cream.
4. Use a comb, nail or chop stick to create a pattern.
5. Carefully place the fabric on top of the shaving cream.
6. Gently pat the fabric down so the whole fabric surface 
comes into contact with the shaving cream. 
7. Lift up the fabric and place it on a flat surface covered 
with plastic or newspaper.
8. Use the plastic ruler or drywall smoother to scrape off 
the excess shaving cream.
9. Let dry, heat set and rinse off any remaining shaving cream.
10. The shaving cream can be used many times over. Just
add more shaving cream and pigments as needed.

Placing blobs of pigment on top of the shaving cream

Combing the top of the shaving cream to create a pattern.
A bit like cake decorating.
Placing the fabric on top of the patterned shaving
cream and gently pushing the fabric down so that
the pigment transfers onto the fabric.
Using a plastic drywall smoother (or ruler) to scrape off
excess shaving cream.

Pigment has been combed up then down in rows
on this fabri
c. Yep, like cake decorating!

The shaving cream can be used over and over. Just smooth it down,
add more pigment as needed and comb new patterns.
This piece is the second print from the shaving cream pan used
for the print above this one - with a circular combing added.

What an inspiration!
A gorgeous Turkish marbled paper.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! And the fabrics smell kind of fresh to boot.

  2. Thanks for the material list, great instructions and photos. Am planning on trying out shaving cream marbling on Saturday with a couple of friends.