I've done some more marbling and made a few books since I last posted. I've been trying to figure out how to make the beautiful peacock pattern. My attempts with a homemade double-tooth comb are less than satisfactory. I've come pretty close by using two homemade rakes, passing them back and forth next to each other while moving the combs through the size to cause the nails to cross paths back and forth. I got that idea after seeing a small illustration from the 1800s of something similar in Progress of the Marbling Art by Joseph Halfer. I also skimmed the book Marbled Paper: Its History, Techniques and Patterns by Richard Wolfe, which had some good historical information but I felt it lacked any concrete recommendations for making patterns and what types of paint to use.
Here are the two "rakes" to the left of the size. To make these, I hammered nails about 2" apart into the thin edge of a ~1.5" wide strip of wood (~1/4" thick), and attached a kind of wire handle to the back of each piece to help me hold and manipulate it back and forth as I drag it through the size.
The Ultimate Marbling Handbook by Diane Maurer-Mathison. I like how this one looks. There are several steps with rakes and combs, but it's not too hard to execute (this was still wet when I took this photo):
On the right is another 'American' and on the left is another attempt at the Peacock design.
I love the vibrant colors in this orange and blue one. I especially love the part on the left side with the blobs of orange floating on the blue.
These books were all the same size: 5" tall x 3.5" wide. I found some pretty ribbons at a scrapbook store and started putting ribbons in all the books. This one was dark blue, black and gray/silver stripes. The stripes looked nice on the book running vertically and I marbled some paper to match the color scheme of the fabric.