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The science and art of paper marbling

Marbling art

Event schedule details

Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 June

12.30, 13.00, 13.30, 14.30, 15.00, 15.30, 16.30, 17.00, 17.30

Event location details

Imperial College Road

Imperial College London

Take part in a creative workshop creating mesmerising paper marbling, while learning about the intriguing world of fluid dynamics.

Paper marbling, decorating technique often found in 18th century book art, involves dispersing ink on the surface of water and manipulating the patterns with a tool to achieve the desired effect. While the individual components, ink, water and detergents (historically ox gall or ginger extract), are rather simple, their interplay is crucial to producing a successful print.

Colloidality affects the dispersion of dye in the ink, viscosity or thickness of the liquid the dyes are floating on top and surface tension which will affect how readily the inks will spread on water.

For this activity we will be looking at the role of the viscosity of the thickened water and the addition of detergents (surfactants) to the ink while producing beautiful prints to take home.

Event times:




Visitor information

This is a drop in event that is part of the Curiosity zone. Workshops start every hour at the times listed above and last for 30 minutes.

To attend the Festival, please make sure to register for free. Registering is the only way to receive the latest Festival updates, a first-look at the full programme, and opportunities to book onto popular talks, creative workshops and tours.

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Event categories

  • Adults
  • Family with 12+
  • Family with 7+
  • Workshop
Marbling art