The Art & Science of Paper Marbling

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  • The Art & Science of Paper Marbling
    The background of this artwork is created through paper marbling.
  • According to Wikipedia, surface tension is a property of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force. This property is caused by the cohesion of similar molecules and is responsible for many of the behaviors of liquids. One example of this is an insect that appears to walk upon the surface of the water. Paper marbling works because the particles or substances used for the color are not heavy enough to break the surface tension of the water.
  • Correlated science TEKS for Grades 1 and 3
    Grade 1
    (5)  Matter and energy. The student knows that objects have properties and patterns. The student is expected to: (A)  classify objects by observable properties of the materials from which they are made such as larger and smaller, heavier and lighter, shape, color, and texture;

    Grade 3
    (5)  Matter and energy. The student knows that matter has measurable physical properties and those properties determine how matter is classified, changed, and used. The student is expected to: (A)  measure, test, and record physical properties of matter, including temperature, mass, magnetism, and the ability to sink or float.
  • These are just a few of the many concepts that find expression in both art and other disciplines.
  • Traditions of paper marbling are well known in Europe, especially in Italy. There are many different methods of paper marbling but they all depend on the concept of surface tension.
  • This is the recommended chalk to use. The big sticks and intense colors really make a difference in the final project.
  • The easiest way to marble paper is to use a particular brand of chalk and water. Materials needed for paper marbling with chalk include flat trays that will hold 12” x 18” white drawing paper (the heavier the better), large sticks of vibrant colors of Prang Freart chalk, (both available from art supply catalogs), small metal rulers or children’s scissors, and pencils (to write names on papers). Place the tray over a sink if it will fit or set it beside the sink. Fill the tray almost up to the top with water. Write name of back of white piece of paper. Scrape chalk dust from a piece of chalk all over the surface of the water, making as fine a dust as possible. Repeat with 2 other colors.
  • Being sure the name is visible on the back, hold the paper over the water in a U shape. Let it touch the middle of the water with the center and then drop it. Quickly and gently touch each corner to be sure the whole surface touches the water. It should just barely touch the surface of the water.
  • Quickly pull up two corners of the paper and hold it over the tray to let excess color and water fall off. Carefully lay the paper on newspapers or a drying rack to dry. Each time a new print is made, new chalk has to be added. Previous colors will not effect new ones so there is no need to dump the water until everyone is through. While the papers dry, students can work on whatever they will be adding to their marbled backgrounds.
  • In each of these examples, the background paper was marbled by the student, then black silhouettes were added after the paper was dry. Students can work on their silhouettes while waiting a turn to marble and while they are waiting for the marble paper to dry.
  • The subject of the artwork needs to be something that is recognizable by its shape or silhouette.
  • Any grade level can work with this process.
  • This student used every bit of the paper and made two artworks. Look at the next image for the reverse.
  • Here is the reverse of the previous artwork.
  • Another approach is to use the marbled paper as a background for a collage. Underwater scenes work well. This is from a high school student. Criteria and subject matter can be determined by the teacher. A related Science grade 2 TEK is (C)  Within the living environment, students explore patterns, systems, and cycles by investigating characteristics of organisms, life cycles, and interactions among all the components within their habitat. Students examine how living organisms depend on each other and on their environment.
  • Elementary student
  • Middle school student
  • Elementary student
  • Elementary student
  • The Art & Science of Paper Marbling

    1. 1. The Art & Science of Paper Marbling
    2. 2. Paper Marbling & Surface Tension According to Wikipedia, surface tension is a property of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force. This property is caused by the cohesion of similar molecules and is responsible for many of the behaviors of liquids. One example of this is an insect that appears to walk upon the surface of the water, rather than sink. Paper marbling works because the particles or substances used for the color are not heavy enough to break the surface tension of the water. The chalk dust floats because it is lighter.
    3. 3. Science TEKS (1) Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations following home and school safety procedures. Grade 1 (5) Matter and energy. The student knows that objects have properties and patterns. The student is expected to: (A) classify objects by observable properties of the materials from which they are made such as larger and smaller, heavier and lighter, shape, color, and texture; Grade 3 (5) Matter and energy. The student knows that matter has measurable physical properties and those properties determine how matter is classified, changed, and used. The student is expected to: (A) measure, test, and record physical properties of matter, including temperature, mass, magnetism, and the ability to sink or float.
    4. 4. 7th Grade Science TEKS Scientific investigation and reasoning. (i) To develop a rich knowledge of science and the natural world, students must become familiar with different modes of scientific inquiry, rules of evidence, ways of formulating questions, ways of proposing explanations, and the diverse ways scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on evidence derived from their work.
    5. 5. Other Meaningful Art & Math/Science Explorations Math: Geometric Shapes and Forms/Congruent Shapes/Tessellations Grade 3 (8) Geometry and spatial reasoning. The student uses formal geometric vocabulary. The student is expected to identify, classify, and describe two- and three-dimensional geometric figures by their attributes. The student compares two- dimensional figures, three-dimensional figures, or both by their attributes using formal geometry vocabulary. (9) Geometry and spatial reasoning. The student recognizes congruence and symmetry. The student is expected to: (A) identify congruent two-dimensional figures; (B) create two-dimensional figures with lines of symmetry using concrete models and technology; and (C) identify lines of symmetry in two-dimensional geometric figures. Science: Metamorphosis Grade 5 (C) describe the differences between complete and incomplete metamorphosis of insects.
    6. 6. You can download this presentation at www.slideshare.net/nwalkup/newsfeed?redirect=1 The Art of Math Animoto http://animoto.com/playf2Fd9fzS1US158Q5alMkcw Hidden in Plain Sight http://animoto.com/play/IibdkBMR5pG0bVmtDKL64g Nancy Walkup nwalkup@netzero.net

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