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Teresa Cheek's Adventure in Marbling

Do you remember eating a jawbreaker as a child? If you waited till the perfect moment, and then bit it, there would be all those concentric layers of colors. Colors and patterns have always caught my attention.

 In the late 1980s, my love for Italy and ornament led me to exploring the art of marbling. All those swirling colors floating magically on a watery surface ...who could resist that!!?  Self-taught, (pre-internet) with only a few books and magazines for information, I began my journey in marbling!

Experimentation began with paper and later, other organic surfaces-silk, leather, stone and wood.  I learned there are certain patterns and colorways from different geographical regions with names like Icarus Wings, Peacock and Nonpareil. There is definitely a learning curve from mixing the paints to the right consistency to what types of paper work best. Keeping good notes and lots of practice have led me to where I am today. 

I have sold marbled silk ties, scarves, handkerchiefs and women’s marbled blouses. My marbled papers have been carried by specialty paper shops in Texas and beyond. Marbled paper bookmarks, journals, river rocks and desk accessories are some of the items I have

marketed through Etsy and Instagram. I have had collaborations with Larson-Juhl Inc. and Mr. P's place cards both using my papers in their launch of new products.

IDAL was the first organization to expose me to a myriad of techniques and artisans through their yearly conventions. The first convention I attended was when the organization was known as SALI. It was transitioning to IDAL, moving away from the emphasis on just stenciling, to include other creative techniques. The inclusion of international teachers influenced my direction to decorative art.

Over the years I have studied with Alex Warren (Sinopia), Adrian Card and Pascal Amblard through Lynne Rutter's Studio, Carolina d'Ayala Valva through Nicola Vigini studio and Jeff Huckaby's studio and George Zaffle, Mats Carlsson, Lucretia Moroni, Jean Sable and Sean Crosby through IDAL conferences and regional conferences. 

All of these influences have led me to a career as a decorative artisan. "There are so many surfaces that can be decorative. I have painted walls, glass, furniture, railroad cars, textiles and other organic surfaces.

I have gilded moose antlers, ornate frames, moldings, ceilings,

walls, and glass. 

It is just as important as an artist to share ideas with each other. Conventions with IDAL and Salon (International Decorative Painters) are invaluable experiences where conversations can be had with skilled like-minded people, new techniques learned, sources for new tools and ideas bounced off each other for upcoming projects.

The more techniques and mediums you can master in your career, the more you can offer a client.  Never quit looking at the world with fresh eyes and never quit learning!

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