Sunday, December 13, 2009


Do to computer problems I'm unable to do much on the blog at this time but will return hopefully early next year. While it's functioning I want to take the opportunity to wish everyone a nice holiday and best wishes for the new year. Kind regards, Ingrid

Saturday, October 31, 2009

From my personal keepsakes

These pieces are again experiments for personal use and I have to ask for his forgiveness showing them but it shows how Christopher wanted to express what he saw in nature and how it inspired him. I think the beauty, besides the hard work is that marbling has the magic of nature. Growing up near a river and seeing it flow and the constant changes reminds me of the floating colors on size.
Here on the piece to the left the leaves are incredibly delicate; clicking on an image will enlarge most of them. At first, for so many years, it was his only goal to achieve marbled papers for binders to use but as I stated before it was impossible to produce in an apartment and there was no money to rent a studio.

I think about you Marblers as I share this because you may see into the heart of Christopher's workings so very private really. Hearing from you that you appreciate my blog makes me continue with enthusiasm.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Main Ingredient

What was it I was wondering that made Chris go on for years despite so many obstacles and failures and I suddenly realized he got the wish he had expressed when we met in Munich. With as little English as I understood he had said he couldn't promise me anything, no riches, nor did he know where he was going but that he wanted to work with his hands. Now I realize that it was exactly what he enjoyed the most, the preparation of the materials for marbling. A two day process of preparing the papers, another day for mixing colors and the next for the size, most of the years it was Guar gum, not exactly an easy process. I will write about his use of the size soon. I loved watching him work. To support the cost of materials he did restoration work that he also taught himself and was very good at. So the main ingredient for all of it was learning, patience, hard work and the challenge of it. Because of his youthful looks he wasn't trusted so most of the time he had a middle man to get the work and yet his workmanship was known.

People would bring pieces as you can see in the upper photo and the repaired piece below:Mayan from the May Collection of St.Louis, Terra Cotta, under 2 feet. I just wanted to share another part of Christopher aside from marbling.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Marbler's quest

Christopher tried to understand all aspects of the use of marbling in the past and present. Having done several books and one by me, the Tribute to his work and life as well as some articles I do not want to repeat myself with this blog. Perhaps I might write about what I remember of the size he used most of his marbling years: guar gum. It was mainly cost that made him find the size for the many years of experimenting, not to mention the cost of paper, color and water. Above a piece of calligraphy by Christopher.

And here to the left a stenciled piece by him and on the right a stenciled rose, as always just experimenting, not meant for sale or showing really.
So that you know I'm still thinking of adding more I wanted to share a few pieces.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The story behind the poster

In all the years that Christopher had marbled it was his greatest wish to one day travel to see collections and meeting other marblers. He had applied to quite a few grands but was rejected every time. I believe it was 1986 that he met Stephane Ipert at Phoebe Easton and the two were talking about traveling together in the future. We didn't have the money for it but in early 1987 I had the strong feeling that we should take that chance financially, pay later for once and go because the opportunity was perfect for him not traveling alone. Many people had thought Chris had already traveled having discovered so much information on the Indian miniatures but it all happened locally. I won't go into detail where he went in May 1987 because he wrote about it in Ink& Gall Recent Travels Vol.11 No.1, 1988. So here just a little story he told me about a paper he gave away in Istanbul. He showed Yilmaz Uyar his marbled papers and suddenly the Gentlemen took one paper and told Chris that he had to have it and that he would see later why. Then in July, a couple of month after Chris returned home a tube arrived showing his paper design and inside a poster. It was a poster of The Great Love of Suleyman the Magnificent. You can see what Mr. Uyar saw in the colors of Chris's papers being similar to the image. What an honor as an American marbler to have his paper chosen. The signed poster reads: "Thanks to Christopher Weimann who is the worlds greatest marbling artist, for his contribution with his work." Yilmaz Uyar, Curator of the exhibition "Suleyman the Magnificent." 7. 7. 1987 Sometimes you have to trust a decision like this trip he took without having the means, in my gut it felt right and I encouraged him to go.
Within a week of Christopher's return we got a notice that he had been awarded a grand from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation for exactly the amount the trip cost him. Looking back now it is a great joy to remember that at least he was able to travel this one time, see collections and meet other marblers'. For him it was always wanting to learn more about the history and to share what he had learned. Even in his last lecture in October of 1988 the month before he passed he said that he was still learning, still searching yet he was the most confident in his lecture than ever before and looking to the future.
I remember a Teacher commenting afterwards that he was impressed that Chris never said "I did this and I did that" but always "We are still learning."'

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Information highway

When Christopher started out in the early 70s it was nearly impossible to find information on marbling and it took us years spending weekends at libraries, book stores, art stores etc. to find not only text but also images. Unless we saw endpapers in old books unaffordable to us we only saw snippets of marbled papers. This was also the major reason to make the samples large in his first book Marbled Papers 1978 so a large surface of a paper could be enjoyed. I doubt very much that Chris would have put in so many years experimenting without seeing anyone else marbling and information so easily at hand today with the click of a mouse; amazing and I wonder what he would think of that. Maybe because it was more mysterious and challenging to say the least he kept going and at first envisioned making a living with it. Eventually as he realized it was impossible to produce papers in an apartment he decided to do research and experiment. Working he took copious notes and often I would sit with him after work taking notes. I even hand copied a lent copy of the Charles Woolnough book, the devoted wife and collaborator and ardent supporter!

A few years ago when Muir Dawson was visiting me and I was looking through a drawer full of notes and papers I came across this recreated marbled miniature made by Chris, he outlined it with gold. I had never seen it before. The original had been published in R.F.Martin's The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India and Turkey. London, 1912.vol.11, page 231 Turkish School. I know it was Chris' goal to make a book with original stenciled and resist technique miniatures and he practiced creating them, sadly his time was cut short but at least I can share his dreams and the one reason I did the Tribute book and gave a few lectures. For him it all had to be a challenge and a learning process and he told me that no other woman would have put up with that but I think to see a creative mind exploring and working at it how better could you share a life!

Again, let me say I do this blog on him and his work from my personel point of view, just to share a little joint history of a marbler and his quest. My rewards are the many friends I have made over the years with marblers. Below on the right a resist he made of me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Working away

Christopher in his first attempts at marbling (early 1970) with just one receipe from a book by Lawrence Town Bookbinding by Hand with a section on marbling and many years later holding one of his papers for the publication of the April 1983 American Decorative Papermakers: The Work & Specimens of Twelve Craft Artists, Mattapoisett, Ma:Busyhaus.

Years of trial and error and many recipes for various sizes and experimenting with different colors eventually brought results of finally accomplishing beautiful papers, yet it always still was a struggle with the elements. We spent many years searching for information at book stores, libraries and museums and to find pictures of patterns in color was difficult unless it was an old used book with endpapers we couldn't afford. Today there are so many ways to get answers or ask teachers with the click of a mouse and I wonder what Chris would have thought about the development of the internet. He never had seen another marbler at work until his first lecture at Harvard in 1986, so many years of just working away at it alone. An amazing brief journey of perseverance wanting to accomplish beautiful papers. Below a photo from the front page of the Tribute book of 1991 where Chris is marbling a resist miniature painting for a lecture. The photos are by Muir Dawson except the top one by me. Below the photo is the dedication

"To all unknown artists and craftsmen of the World."

During the 2 1/2 years I worked on the book I had seen a Documentary at a museum that inspired me having seen beautiful work done centuries past but of course no individual artists were mentioned and I knew I wanted to dedicate the book to these people.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


These entries are to be so different from the book or articles I have written because I want to do it out of simply sharing little anecdotes, hopefully of interest. Christopher had hoped to eventually make papers for sale as a business but working out of a bedroom made it impossible so one day he decided to continue supporting the materials and time with restoration work and focus instead on research. Along the way, finally relaxing from just accomplishing large patterns he made flowers. The one here on the left I call "My flower" it was one I loved and wanted to keep. When he had his one and only exhibition at Dawson's Book Shop in 1979 he asked me to show it. He actually hadn't realized he was having an exhibition until he saw the invitation for his first slide lecture at the Book shop and it read "Exhibition!" What news it was to him so he got to work quickly and created (under pressure) some beautiful work. As he and Muir Dawson were hanging "my" flower a Book dealer came in the door, pointed at my flower and said "I want that!"and Chris said "Okay." His first sale after working 8 years on perfecting his marbling. As Muir Dawson wrote in the Tribute book "Remembering Chris" he stated the true spirit of Chris " He had only one showing where his marbling was for sale and in total probably gave away more material than he sold." So very true, he hated giving a price(as I do) and it wasn't because we didn't need money, he was just so happy to see enthusiasm and joy and always said to me that he was still learning! I can truly say we gave it our spirit without much money; our first vacation after 10 years of marriage to New Mexico, what inspiration of colors! I do not have a single one of these early flowers, he gave them all away except the one below that he made much later.

I can just imagine him smiling as I write this or even disapprove, (too shy) that rascal! A beautiful giving and inspired human being and I do hope it's worth writing about. I truly thought moments ago that I give up adding to this blog but then I can't help myself sharing memories of a Marblers' quest for beauty.
In the early 80's after his lecture at Stanford University Chris was asked by Sandra Kirshenbaum of Fine Print to do a cover for her publication with
one of his flowers, but only in black & white (do to costs). He told her he couldn't do that but limited his design to two colors made to fit the cover and flowers especially created for it.
The printers told me later on when I visited them in SF that they had a heck of a time showing the fine lines coming out of the flowers.
Needless to say, every time the magazine was laid out it was taken by people. This was the first color cover of Fine Print and after that they always used color. The next cover was the piece of Chris's research of an Indian Miniature and another one for Fine Prints Tenth Anniversary.

Friday, June 12, 2009

a brief note until the next entry

Just a brief note to let you know I'll be adding to this blog very soon. Until then I just wanted to leave you with a couple of pictures. If you are a yahoo marbling group member you can see some of his work in the meantime in photos in the folder of C.Weimann.

In 1987 Christopher got to finally travel to Europe and meet with Marblers and Collectors, his only trip. Who could have imagined a year later of his passing. His work was going so well, he was more confident in his lectures and he envisioned future books and sharing what he learned. So much has changed since 1988, with the click of a mouse you can see and learn and it's amazing how ancient the search for learning and knowledge was so difficult just 37 years ago. Many marblers learned on their own and some still do. Being in touch with so many through the years have been the best friendships in my life. Here I was only updating entry news but started telling what is always present in my mind. In 1998 I was invited by Hikmet Barutcugil of Ebristan to exhibit Christopher's work and I took everything worthwhile to exhibit. I do remember how well Christopher was received in Istanbul though Mustafa Duezguenman told him (with Christopher in the above photo) that his flowers without background were not Ebru. When he told me about that visit I could only imagine the city from hearing about it in early school years never in my wildest dreams of being able to visit one day.
I did write about the experience of my visit and other gatherings in a number of marblers publications.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Calligraphy Gifts

Shortly after Chris passed in Nov.1988 I decided to share Christopher's work in a Tribute book and celebrate his life cut so short.
First I arranged a memorial exhibition at Dawson's Bookshop in February 1989. In 1992 I showed his research of his slide lecture on the Deccani research and work at the International Gathering in San Francisco. In 1998 I was asked to bring his work to Ebristan in Istanbul, Turkey. Chris had visited there the year before in 1987 and I remember well how he described his time there and the people he met. How exciting for him, his only trip during all his years of marbling searching for answers, trying to trace the history. I will write about that experience of bringing his work there in a later entry. In appreciation of having brought Christopher's work to Istanbul I was given this very special gift above left. I was already on the way to the airport when Fueson Barutcugil's cell phone kept ringing. Someone needed to get ahold of us. It was this gift by Professor Dr.Huesrev Subasi of Marmara Univesity,Ilahiyat who hoped to hand it to me before I left. When I see this beautiful gift and the next one shown below I know it was the right thing to keeping Chris's memory alive. The above piece reads in Kufic script: Christopher and Ingrid Weimann on all four corners. To have received it in person the last minute before we boarded the ferry was so touching and so very appreciated as are all the other gifts I received over the years.
Here is the other treasure by Mohamed Zakariya on the left who gave it to me in Feb.2000. I reads from the lower left: "Ingrid & Chris Forever" in Celi Divani Script. The triangle is a piece I gave Mohamed that Chris had gotten in Istanbul on his only visit there. The inner blue marbling of Chris's from their only collaboration. Mohamed preserved Chris's ebru and used the outer Ebru using his papers. They sadly never met in person. They collaborated on one piece in 1988 shown below. Chris was told by Sandra Kirshenbaum of Fine Print that he should contact Mohamed that they were kindred spirits. This happened in the spring of 1988 and Chris sent some specially prepared papers for the project after they corresponded.

Christopher got to see the finished piece the month he passed and for him it was hope for future projects. These are all the treasures you share with dear friends you meet through art and their passion.
May this sharing of the human spirit keep life alive.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marbling inspiration and beginning

After a long work day working with color and finishes on leather in the late 60s early 70s Chris noticed how drops of color on metal lids and containers left interesting patterns. Chris started to play with these chemical reactions on paintcan lids and it evolved over time to some very interesting and beautiful images. *One lid I wanted to show here that looked very much like a marbled pattern has faded and the scanner didn't pick up the blue colors but I may find a slide at some point so I show another one instead on the left. In the meantime it looked like this pattern on paper to the right he eventually achieved and which had let him into marbling when he saw papers in a Bookbinding class. To work with colors like that totally inspired him and the search was on for information.

*After several days I did find a copy of the original paintcan lid that resembled marbling and which I now added to the top of this revised blog. When he showed the lid to a bookbinder he asked Chris "Are you a Marbler?" and Chris asked "What is marbling?" The rest is history.

I don't need to go into detail how long it can take to accomplish beautiful papers without much information available, sheer trial and error, over and over again for many years. So once again after a long day trying, often with frustrating results Chris played. The results I saw in the evenings coming home from work. To my dismay he had cut up some photographs of mine "without" permission. His smile made me forgive him.
Sometime later he showed the pieces to a Printing teacher at a University and he was quite impressed and encouraged him to continue. Three of the four he made are shown here.

Three are on paper and one he marbled on a plastic frame with the photo attached to the back, it doesn't show up too well to include here.
During those first years of marbling in the early 70s he met a Special effects Director who had been involved in the making of the 2001 Space Odyssey and he told Chris about the filming of the secret marbling done in London shown at the end of the film. He asked Chris to do some experimentations for cloud effects. Chris used colors in a deep tank of water, one of the results you can see below. However, this project was brief but Chris ended up working there for a while longer organizing, cleaning and assisting the creative Staff. When work stopped as it does on projects with Studio work I urged Chris to get back to marbling full time, pursuing what he hoped to achieve.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sharing the memory of Christopher and his work

Hello Everyone

This blog about the late Christopher Weimann (1946-1988)is to share his work on a personal level. As I'm learning to blog there are a lot of oops and deletes by accident like the saying goes "where did it go?" I'm learning as I go along setting it up.
After working three years professionaly as a trained Color Matcher and Leather finisher, designing new colors and finishes for the Design Trade Chris quit; a very toxic job. Wanting to continue working with color and leather he took an evening Bookbinding class at UCLA while trying to find information on marbling. It took years to find information (unlike today) and even more years of experimenting with various colors, such as oils, printing inks, acrylics, gouche sizes and paper etc. Orignially the idea was to make a business with Stationary products but having a business in an apartment was not possible and there wasn't money to rent a space. Actually I'm sitting in this room right now, the converted bedroom to a marbling place and again to a bedroom now and where I paint.
The collage shown in the Title of the first entry was a gift assembled from pictures I sent Milena Hughes who gave it to me for a Birthday gift in 2008 (the photo of Chris was in 1979 while printing the miniature book).
Many of you already know quite a bit from my articles, slide lectures and my book but this is additional and I hope interesting.
I am dedicating this blog to the late Muir Dawson of Dawson's Book Shop. As I wrote in the "Society of Marbling" Newsletter, Jan,2003 :
"Without his friendship, enthusiasm and especially encouragement during Chris's marbling years I don't think you would know about Chris today."
Christopher was too shy to let himself be known, he was just trying to sell some papers to stores etc. Dear Muir told him that he should let people know that he had made the papers.
How it happend I will tell as the blog developes.

A very special moment for Christopher and Muir Dawson
at the symposium at Harvard University where Chris
demonstrated his stenciled marbling for the first time
and the slide presentaion of his research on the marbled Deccani paintings.
"Ebru: The Art of Marbling in the Islamic World"
Arthur M.Sackler Museum, May 24-July 12,1986