From The Studio | Jemma Lewis Marbling
I emailed Jemma quite out of the blue. Please can we come and visit your studio to witness the magic, and leaf through some of that tasty paper you make?
A warm response that day, and a wonderfully warm and open narrative we’ve had with Jemma ever since. Her beautiful marbled papers have become, in our eyes and we hope yours too, synonymous with TINCT.
Her eye for colour and pattern, and core skill of centuries old paper marbling, a wonderfully understated practice in order to produce intricate patterns – are all things which make us want to work with Jemma for years to come.
Jemma’s studio is a charming pale blue shed at the bottom of her garden. An organised and modest space, from which she churns out by hand the most beautiful of papers. An understanding of her materials, a degree in textiles and years of experience put Jemma at the top of her game, creating the most striking patterns that have caught the attention of big brand names such as & Other Stories and Matches Fashion.
Her journey began whilst working at a book binders. Traditionally used to line the inner covers of hand bound books, marbled paper played an integral but sideline role in Jemma’s daily world. Through her work she became familiar with Ann Muir, the supplier who produced their paper, and when news broke of her impending retirement, Jemma jumped at the opportunity to be taught the ways of this magical, mystical, marbly world. She trained with Ann and her colleague for several months before branching out on her own.
Gouache paint is floated on carragheen – an Irish seaweed, which is highly viscous and therefor allows the paints to float on top whilst being combed, agitated and swirled in to hundreds of different patterns, classic and contemporary. When I visited the studio, Jemma let me have a go at making my own paper. It’s fascinating at how light a touch you need when applying and moving the paints, and one of those arts that until you have a go you have no idea of the handiwork involved.
Jemma clearly got really good, really fast, and for 7 years worked full time alongside her father. Since his retirement, Jemma’s husband Craig has filled those boots and now works in the workshop preparing papers with alum, washing them after they’ve been coloured and helping with the day to day running of their wonderfully busy and thriving enterprise, and one we are chuffed to be working with.