Monday, June 2, 2014


Marbling is one of those magical processes- the kids oooo and aaah the entire time and can't hold back their excitement. Now this is the first time I've marbled with 250 kids.......I've only done it with my 3 at home :), so it was quite a production to figure out how I was going to make sure that each student had ample time to work, that we rotated efficiently, that the papers were named correctly and we kept it safe since 10 kiddos at a time had big bins of water. I felt like all of the responsibility that the children took on to make this work was really great review for art room procedures and for me to make sure they had grown in those skills.
Suminigashi is the Japanese technique of marbling paper by floating ink on top of water. After you drop the ink you make can make designs by using combs and toothpicks. Next, you lay rice paper on top and viola! The ink absorbed into the paper and you usually have a gorgeous print.
 I have a hard time doing a project that only mimics a technique so I pushed it further by having the children invent tools. We studied many marbling patterns. We studied their names and how they were created, watched videos on the process and I modeled as well. Then I gave them gobs of stuff- forks, tape, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, paper clips and sticks. They invented a tool with the intention of it making a specific pattern. They had to make it, test it and talk to me about their observations.  

an invented marbling tool

A tool after it was used and is covered with ink now

This is when the first inks are dropped on top of the water- so fun to watch!!!

Some of the complete papers- we use them in a later project.

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