Making the marbled paper for the paper cuts was a bit of a steep learning curve, although I did enjoy it. I was a bit taken aback by the fact that it requires planning at least hours, and ideally a good day before hand.
Paper needs to be prepared and most papers need to be treated with alum to ensure the ink holds to the paper. The alum is a Mordant and enables the ink to stick and not wash off. Pepared paper needs to dry and I found it helpful to iron the small sheets I had made to make them nice and flat.
You also need to prepare something to thicken the water for the ink to float on. I used carrageen that came with my inks. This requires whisking leaving and remixing to ensure there are no lumps. It is then best left to settle for a day or so to let the bubbles come out.
I found some really useful help on Youtube. Lots of people posting bits of advice. One of the most useful I found was a suggestion you could make your own tools to move the inks around, this was after I had bought one.
In the end I just used toothpicks and wooden skewers and a toothbrush to spatter the inks. Colours can be mixed and thinned, making them more translucent. I had been messing around with marbled paper a bit last year and noticed how lots of the designs looked like feathers. Maybe this is what planted the seed of the idea.
I ended up using a very small tray and little bits of paper as you can see from this and the previous blog. This saved a lot on ink and I was not looking for large sheets of consistent designs. I also found you could manipulate the inks to produce patterns you wanted. I wanted a large variety so that I could find what I needed when it came to cutting.
I bought some paper from the USA. Two different kinds were recommended by Heidi Reichenbach Finley, of Marbling Supplies on Etsy ( www.marblingsupplies.com). One was a Japanese print paper and the other Texoprint, a paper containing latex made in the USA. The paper was well priced, but the postage expensive. However the Texoprint turned out to be fantastic for paper cutting as well as it did not easily tear and was quite robust.