Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Venice Marbleized

Venetian masks don't do it for me - too glitzy... But last day in Venice I discovered these marbleized silk masks and flipped. Venice is a key center for paper arts...
And marbleized paper/carta marmorizzata is their specialty.
I took a class in marblizing at the Book Center and it is hard. I can't begin to imagine how you do this to fine silk fabric..?
Marbleizing was revived in Venice
during the 1970s. The sheets are made by hand and each is unique. Why not don your marbleized mask and write some old fashioned snail mail on these perfect note cards..?

You'll find a 'marbleized' pen in the same shop...
The ink is NOT marbleized but the hand-blown glass ink well comes from Murano.
All these treasures are at the 1851 paper shop, Antica Legatoria Piazzi in San Marco.
Fortunately just a few steps away you can.
Indulge yourself in marbleized gelato, Stracciatella.
Well hurry up/
andiamo!Your gondola is waiting!


  1. I'm with you...don't care for the glitzy ones. But these marbelized ones are beautiful! Great post.

  2. Eeeek, so many great posts to catch up on - this is what happens when I take my eye off the paris breakfasts ball for half a second! Especially loved Shanghai in Paris - how could I not have known about this place when these are two of my favourite cities in the world? So glad you also love Shanghai Tang - (thanks for the link to his FT column) and tres contente to have these new addresses in Paris - merci bien!

  3. Martha did a show once on marbling, and it wasn't that hard. I'm sure there are different methods, but they were beautiful. I'm sure you could google it. I've always loved marbled papers.

    Love the glass Murano pens. I have a few that I started collecting, and they're so fun to write/sketch with.

  4. My friend took me to a school where they learn paper marbeling in Istanbul. They call it ebru. Fascinating to see. I came home with some paper too! Very pretty!
    (You are really making me want to go to Venice!)

  5. Do you think it would be too USA of me to wear a mask while i have a rasberry gelato and go for a Gondola ride all at once??

  6. Not if it's during Carnevale!!
    Please wear a raspberry mask just to be on the safe side.

  7. Justine2:39 PM

    Marbleized GELATO!!
    the best

  8. I have always been fascinated with marbleizing. I always wanted to learn how to do it - but I never got around to it. Story of my life :)
    Great pictures of Venice & I love that old map of the city that you use as a backdrop.

  9. Those marbleized masks are gorgeous indeed!
    Un gelato would not be bad either. :-)

    I learned how to make marbleized paper in school. It is a bit messy, but I dare say that with a bit of practice it is not too difficult to create sophisticated designs on paper. The real fun begins when you make larger sheets of gift wrapping paper. It all depends on how large a tray you can get and handle.

  10. After reading Sue's comment, I googled and found Martha Stewart's "How to Marbleize Paper" site. I would have never thought of using rimmed baking sheets, great idea!

    (Oh well, all seems so much fun when one finds an excuse to get away from work!)

  11. I LOVE marbled paper and took an afternoon class at Paper Source to learn suminagashi style...learned the traditional style shown in your video link from Martha's directions and even more from Hollander's in Ann Arbor. Yes, the pros make it look easy, but it's not! Still, I love to use it for my handmade journals so once a year or so I get all the stuff out and decorate the paper and my laundry room with ink!

  12. Loved the masks, l used to make marbled masks some years ago and its easier than you think once you have made the frame, its just getting something to hold the liquid marble in then use 2 or 3 colours that will mix well. I used to blow mine or tip the container. Its like doing a abstract on silk instead of canvas. I also had a good idea of marbling silk or even cotton fabric.
    Just doing rows of tacking stitches then pulling each row up very tight then submerging it into the marble mixture and leave till dry then cut stitches and pull out and you then have fantastic patterns and colours. I used to make them into wall hangings,
    Jill xxx

  13. Carol....Did you buy some of the masks? They are well done with intricate detail. I think you know that I marble paper, leather and silk? Either way, I have blogged on it a few times as well.


  14. You are just so.. clever taking a class in marbleizing perhaps you could marbleize Bear or Non?
    - I love the very top mask in soft pink! ever so pretty!

  15. Gorgeous masks. That is one regret of mine - not buying a Venetian mask!

    Lovely images as usual.
    The Wanderfull Traveler

  16. Buying a mask in Venice is definitely on my "things I still want to do" list.


  17. Carol, I am another fan of the art of marbelizing paper. Never practiced it myself, but ... someday. I have bought many sheets of gorgeous papers, and giving them to folks who would know how to make something else from them.

    Manipulation of colors, with organic unpredictable results...magic!

    Best wishes.

  18. I would have spent all my souvenir money in that paper shop. Seriously - those PENS!!

  19. Wow, those masks are out of this world gorgeous!

  20. One of my favorite keepsakes of a trip to Venice is a quite simple (not marbelized) mask, with a canal painting on it. Very touristy, but a cherished reminder of a wonderful trip.

  21. The marbleized masks are beautiful. Venice is so magical and unique. This gives me incentive to look for the paper and pen that I have in storage. Your pictures tell a beautiful story and I most definitely want to step in that gondola....ahhhh a girl can dream.

  22. Carol-

    Did you see yesterday's Italian Notebook?



  23. I love it that the gelato is never far away from your thoughts! Mine too....

  24. Lovin the mask. I really like the marbleized silk, very lovely and I didn't see those. This brings back memories. We were in Venice for Carnival and bought masks. Hubby got a plain one, I on the other hand went all out for the glitz.
    I miss them, donated to a worthy cause. Lots of good memories from your post.


  25. Anonymous8:05 PM

    I so love those tiny paper shops in Venice.

    And wow - I've never seen marbleized ice cream before. Great find!

    Have a good week! ~ Leah

  26. Anonymous1:05 PM

    Wow your trips always looks so fun! Those pens look really lovely! Mmm... and would love to try those gelato too...

  27. My friend Kris wants to make masks with me as our next "craft." This post is very inspiring. SO glad I stopped by!

  28. I do prefer Limoux carnival masks!!!!!!

  29. When I was a little girl, I received a marbleized color pencils set, from Italy, I loved them!!! and that is want technique that I love to do on my cookies, Thanks for sharing!!!!!


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