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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 17:14:14 -0700
Subject: Marbling by Mike Moore
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Ideas From Mike Moore
These ideas on Paper Modeling were shared by Mike Moore, Kindergarten
Teacher, at the California Kindergarten Association Conference in San
Francisco, 1997. Mike offered a one hour workshop where the teachers were
able to experience paper marbling first hand.
Mike suggested to use the marbled paper in the following ways: During
spring, use several quarter sheets of paper; cream, light blue, and
turquoise with one hot color. He told us that after the kindergartners
marble the paper and let it dry, he has them make three fish and strings
them to hang in front of a window covered with blue cellophane. This becomes
their "school" of marble fish!
For Valentines day they make several sheets of pink, cream, lavender and
light blue paper. He asks the students to bring lace, trim and paper doilies
to make their special project. Depending on what the students bring, they
either start with a paper plate (removing the center) or a heart shape cut
from card stock and make a wreath for a gift for the families.
For St. Patrick's Day he cuts several green shamrocks, using a die-cut. The
children marble the shamrocks and he laminates them. The children wear one
as a necklace on St. Pats day. They use the rest to decorate several "bare"
brees with ribbons and bows in the classroom.
In the fall they marble orange, yellow, gold and tan paper to cut out
leaves. or they use several die cut leaf shapes.
Other ideas he shared: Spring flowers, Holly leaves, Easter eggs, Pastel
bunnies, Halloween ghosts and pumpkins, Book Covers, Mobiles, End sheets for
books, paper to cut illustrations from, 3-D boxes. . . . Thank you Mike
1. Marble-Thix Concentrate (from Nasco, 1-800-558-9595 )
2. Tubes of acrylic paint
3. Construction paper
4. Plastic gallon jug to mix and store Marble-Thix (milk or juice jugs
5. Containers for marbling (shallow containers, about 2 inches deep)
6. Plastic squeeze bottles for paint
7. Hair picks, large combs, plastic forks, toothpicks
8. Newspapers or paper towels for blotting and drying marbled paper
1. Prepare several, six inch by four and a half inch pieces of
construction paper for each student. OR precut holiday or seasonal shapes
using a die-cut machine or scissors.
2. Direct students to write their name on papers before marbling.
3. Demonstrate how to marble the papers before turning the students
4. Allow lots of exploration time and additional opportunities to marble
again on other days.
5. Reuse Marble-Thix solution until it gets dark and cloudy (each
marbling container makes 20+ prints)
6. The 21 quart size of Marble-Thix will do several hundred four and one
half by six inch pieces of paper (400-600).
1. Mix Marble-Thix as per package directions
2. Allow to set for six (6) or more hours (overnight is best).
3. Waiting time can be reduced by mixing the powder with hot water.
4. Use a blender to speed the mixing (blend for 20 seconds at high speed)
and let stand for 1/2 hour before using)
5. The mixture can be kept in a covered plastic jug at room temperature
for 4 months.
Preparing the Solution
1. To prepare the gel/water solution, add one and a half teaspoons of
Marble Thix powder to one quart of warm water and mix thoroughly. A wire
whisk works well. The solution depth in your pan should be about 1 inch
2. The solution needs to stand for at least six hours at room temperature
to allow any lumps to dissolve. When the solution is ready it will feel
slightly thick and slimy.
Preparing The Paint
1. Thin your paints with water using about one part paint to three parts
2. Glass jars or paper cups work well for thinning paint.
3. You can also create new colors by mixing the primary colors.
4. Paint should be about the consistency of milk and well mixed with the
5. Popsicle sticks work well for mixing.
Applying The Paint
1. Using the squeeze bottles, gently apply the paint to the surface of
2. Hold the bottle close to the surface and apply one drop at a time.
3. The drops will spread on the surface of the solution leaving a thin
layer of paint.
4. Some paint will fall through the solution to the bottom of your pan.
This is normal and is not a problem because you will work only on the
5. As you add more drops of color or different colors, the thin layer of
paint will intensify.
6. You can apply different colors without them mixing on the surface to
create a pleasing pattern or design.
7. You can leave your design as a drop effect, or "work" the design with
a comb or toothpick, etc. Simply draw the comb or toothpick through the
paint on the surface of the solution to achieve beautiful swirling designs.
Be careful not to "overcomb" and spoil the effect.
Printing On Paper
1. Hold the paper on diagonal corners and gently place the paper onto the
surface of the solution. Try not to move the paper sideways once you make
contact with the solution.
2. As you place the paper, press it slightly into the solution to be sure
you don't trap any air bubbles.
3. Once the paper is in full contact with the surface of the solution,
carefully lift it off the solution.
4. Lay it on a flat, newspaper or paper towel covered surface, with the
5. Blot extra water on paper with towel so design doesn't run and dries
6. Let it dry completely (this can take several hours to overnight)
7. Paper sheets can be flattened by pressing with an iron on the back
side on a low heat setting when the paper is completely dry.
Cleaning Your Tools
1. Don't use soap to clean up with because any residue may affect results
the next time you use the materials.
2. Use warm water and a brush.
to Order Marble Thix
Marble Thix can be ordered for $8.45 for a medium jar to make 21 quarts from