Norma Rubovits

Chicago, Illinois

Marbled Vignette

Traditional marbling with watercolors on carragheen moss base. 26 x 21 centimeters. Created n.d. Lent by the Newberry Library.

Norma Rubovits started the study of bookbinding with Elizabeth Kner in 1963, when she was also introduced to handmade decorated papers. Finding the colors and designs of marbled papers the most appealing, she was determined to learn the technique. There were no active marblers to be located, so the techniques were learned from old manuals in the libraries, plus trial and error experimentation. She began by making full marbled sheets using the traditional Halferian technique. Because this technique is able to produce a line so fine as to be visible only under magnification, she developed a smaller, more circumscribed format so that the fine detail would be more evident. The playful, colorful, and imaginative variety of images are referred to as “Marbled Vignettes,” and are very satisfying to produce.