Five Wounds- Marbling

The majority of the illustrations in Five Wounds were drawn with a rotring pen and felt tips, others however, involved different techniques and some experimentation. Jon had the idea of using marbling for the endpapers, reviving a once popular feature in book binding, as part of the book's 'postmodern' design. His idea was to incorporate the colours of the five protagonists in a marbled design.

An Illustration of marblers at work from Denis Diderot & Jean le Rond d'Alembert's 'Encyclopédie', from the 1700s, when marbling was a serious profession.

I had last tried marbling at primary school. The experience was enjoyable and I 'discovered' by accident that if the paper is wet it repels the ink. My first reaction to this was a hand print, a bit like the first cave paintings when primitive humans first discovered mark making.

I was particularly pleased the hand design and thought it would be great as an endpaper design as it also related to the annotated hand on the cover.

The finger prints at either side of this print was my 'eureka' moment. I also thought that this looked a bit like Crow- the alchemist from Five Wounds. My other marbling designs seemed to yield images of the protagonists or scenes from Five Wounds, but once my initial enthusiasm had died down they just looked like incomprehensible swirls.


The book was finally printed without marbled endpapers, but instead we used an illustration referencing Tintoretto's Paradise

We did finally put the marbling experiments to effective use in the book, in the form of an illustration (below):

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