Among the many offerings at MCBA (at which fun may always be had), Open Studio Marbling and the Marbling Forum have been two of my recent favorites. While the Forum involves sharing tips and tricks for marbling success, at Open Marbling you can see the success in action. Forum usually meets on the third Sunday of the month, Open Marbling on the first Saturday. See some of my recent marbling here.
Lately, doing a marbling session has felt like conducting an orchestra, and probably nothing like it at all given that orchestras are governed by precise compositions and predictable harmonics, don’t last for 12 hours and besides I’ve never conducted one. But as you lay down a base note of color, add in the next layers that become veining (hence the term ‘marble’), then scatter your ‘stones’, the paint floating on the surface of the tank expands, contracts and surges wildly in every direction, yet with balance and constraint, and there’s definitely something orchestral about it.
It’s also eerie how often the patterns echo those found at the macro and micro levels of our perception. Looking into the tank, I sometimes feel like I’m peering down from a helicopter at a watershed, or into a microscopic view of neurons, or up through a telescope on a clear, cold night. So marbling is a little bit like being omniscient.
Also, pulling each sheet up off the surface of the tank is like a miniature birth, momentous and alchemical, each unique composition can only be captured once on a single page (if you’re lucky), and if you are, it can never be produced again.
All analogies aside, there’s something magic about marbling; but don’t take my word for it, get in a class today and try it out yourself!