Students experiment with water marbling for others


Sara Ghauri

Students work on a “fun cart” to be donated Texas children’s hospital.

Sara Ghauri and Emily Zhang

Students created art and designed projects to benefit others in the community in a room filled with laughter. 

Among other art forms, the students learned about paper marbling in a class called “Art for Others.”

Bringing in professional water marbling artists, Tony and Natilia Vela to demonstrate and teach the students the technique, Mr. Vela introduced students to a variety of different types of art. 

Students crowded around a table in the middle school art room that was laid out with tools, multiple jars filled with ink, and a tray filled with water.

Mr. Vela, using a paintbrush dipped in oil-based ink, flicked the brush to create vibrant, colored dots of ink all over the water in a tray. The oil-based ink colors made the colors stay afloat. 

By repeating this process multiple times using different colors, the ink covered the water in the tray thoroughly. Next, he took a specialized comb that is used for water marbling and drug it steadily at a slow pace through the water in a wave-shaped motion. 

As soon as he reached his desired pattern, he gently laid the paper on top of the water and pushed it down. Once the paper was fully submerged, he pulled it out and placed it on a drying rack. 

Audrey Jones, a freshman, now was tasked with making her own water-marbling paper. She started by choosing the colors red, blue, and purple. After selecting her colors she had to spread out the ink by flicking it onto the water. Then she used a comb specially made for water marbling, and moved it, which spread the ink all over the liquid and created a pattern. Then she dipped the paper in the water and pushed it down. After she pulled out the paper and showed her beautiful design to the class. She then hung it up to dry. 

A few days later the artwork dried, and everyone watched as their vibrant colors came to life. The final steps of using the paper were to make book covers. 

Audrey stapled blank sheets of paper into her water-marbled paper, creating a book that she is going to give to charity to be used as journals and sketchbooks. 

“I love this class because I am a very fortunate person, and I love to give back to my community which has shaped me into the person I am today,” Jones said. 

Kate Hyman used her water-marbled paper to make a card to go along with the jewelry she made. She wrapped a jewelry box with her paper. 

As interim term, the class has made so many different projects to be given and kept.