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GK Gallery, 272 Chapel Street, M3 5JZ

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Joe Hillary

A recently graduated three-dimensional design student from the Manchester School of Art, I’m inherently interested in the value and emotional attachment we hold within certain possessions and how this can then be transferred into the things I create. As a modern day craftsmen, I have explored craft along side industry by blending traditional hand printing methods with digital manufacturing techniques. ‘Miss Marble’ is a CNC routed side table, with a completely unique hand marble printed top surface that can also be easily disassembled for flexibility due to the wing nut used in its construction.

 

Marble printing is an ancient craft that involves floating paint on ’size’ - a thickened water. This creates a completely individual fluid pattern, which is then traditionally transferred onto paper and used for book covers and end papers. The craft first appeared as we know it now in 16th Century Persia and Turkey, under the name of Ebru, but even pre-dates that to ancient Japan. It landed in England in the late 18th Century, but up until the mid 19th Century the literature and documentation on the method was non-existent. The old guild of marble artisans was one of deep secrecy and mystery in order to keep the craft pure and to its highest quality. None would dare divulge its secrets under penalty of ostracism or worse.

Through much of Europe's history with the craft, the best prints and studios were located in what is now Germany and Holland. In the 20th Century, due to a combination of war, inflation and newly mechanically printed papers, the craft almost disappeared from the Area. Cockerell papers, an English marbling studio picked up the torch. Sadly the studio is no longer alive but marble printing is still practiced around the country by small studios and crafts people.