Monday, 12 November 2012

Nonpareil- Part 1- The basics

One of the real cliches of marbling, this pattern of marbled paper, sometimes called "combed" has been produced form the earliest times till the present day. It has been produced in almost any colour combination,  width of comb, and degree of skill since then.
 So, what is a nonapreil? Well, It is any form of marbled paper whose final step is a combing, and that combing must be preceeded by a previous combing , which is carried out at right angles to the final one. The key here is in the first combing, and it's direction.
The materials:
Nonapreils need a size which is thin, but not watery. It has to be thin, or else the colours cannot pass through the comb. Neither should it be watery, as the colours would shift about and misbehave when they are combed.

Nonpareils traditionally have 4-5 colours in them, but equally traditional ones have only two ( see blue nonpareil)

Comb: The comb in question is usually one with  0.5 cm spacing, but smaller and larger ones have been made. Nonpareils made with a large comb look good on large books, and vice versa.

The basic process of a nonpareil is this:

1- drop on any number of colours ( 2-3 is good for the beginner)
2- make a git-gel ( see--) along the length of the trough [ on small troughs, you can omit this step; and skip to 3 ]
3- on this git gel, make another, but this time, along the width of the trough
4- pass the comb along the width of the trough.

The resultng pattern, in all it's glory, is the nonpareil. Now, it is often printed as it is, but you can add extra decoration to the pattern.....

1- curled nonpareil.
 simply make curls over the nonpareil

2- double combed-
Draw a rake over the nonpareil. Occasionaly done.

There is also another method, slightly more advanced, Which, in my opinion, produces a somehat more pleasing paper. - see

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