Since summer 2015, LEMAIRE has been developing original prints derived from marbled papers and watercolors.
The spontaneous quality of these techniques gives birth to expressive and fluid patterns.
Look closely, and you might see a wide open sky, shifting landscapes, fabulous animals or even faces.
The arrangement of these various patterns, with their nebulous outlines and singular textures, compose a panorama of optical illusions
to spark your imagination and reflect back your own playfulness. LEMAIRE and Atelier La Folie have reimagined
classical decorative marbling, simplifying traditional patterns into more refined, contemporary motifs.
For the past seven years, Atelier La Folie has been making marbling-inspired prints for LEMAIRE. Located in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, just a few steps from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Atelier La Folie takes place under mansard roofs and amongst books, with a schoolyard as its soundtrack.
There are two tables, a collection of pigments (Walnut stain, Helios red, Mars yellow, Vine black, etc.), shaggy brushes, combs and drawing boards filled with years of experiments and discoveries. Atelier La Folie also restores old books and documents.
« My work uniform is this Indigo apron and this old rag to wipe my brushes. I usually work barefoot in total silence. »
Marbled paper first appeared in the West as souvenirs brought by travelers returning from the East in the 16th century. Marbling later became one of the major decorative techniques in bookbinding, used on both august tomes and simple booklets.
For a long time, the technique remained mysterious, being both challenging to learn and practiced according to strict, unchanging principles. It consists of floating paint on the surface of a liquid, a mix of guar gum and seaweed powder, then manipulating. It with a paintbrush or fine pointed implement to create a pattern. The print is then made by placing the paper directly onto the surface of the liquid.
The marbler’s art and sensibility is expressed through their ability use each colour according to its own properties. It is necessary to master the air drafts while some colors might be temperamental, meaning the artist might need to go easy on the flighty yellow, add the right amount of emotive red and bring out the shy blue.