One of my top must-find items for our trip to Venice was marbled paper, a handicraft characteristic of Venice and hopefully available in plentiful supply. I didn't let myself get too excited, though, because in North America, I don't see a lot of marbled paper anymore and I wasn't sure if the art and craft had died out in Venice.
Happily, we found several shops making and selling marbled paper, including this one where we had the chance to talk to the owner. I realize now that Venice is a place where the ancient is celebrated and sustained, and marbling was no exception.
Besides paper, the shop also sold rubber stamps, sealing wax and glass pens.
The books are made with purchased book blocks and handmade covers. The owner had set up his book press right in the shop, an esthetically pleasing and functional solution to having so little space in which to work.
Can you see the balls in the foreground? He hand-marbled those in the vat in the back. After soaking the gelatin for several weeks, the vat is ready to use and lasts six months without being changed.
Gorgeous boxes and ribbons.
It was a privilege to see inside the shop and workspace and I'm grateful to the owner for taking the time to visit with us. It was definitely a highlight of our trip to Venice.