Ingrid Weimann & Nedim Sönmez
Present
Christopher Weimann
( 1 9 4 6 - 1 9 8 8 )
A Tribute
Published by Jäckle- Sönmez
Tübingen, Germany
This book about the American marbler Christopher Weimann not only presents a
wide-ranging selection from his 18-year career, but also gives personal views of him and his
work in textual contributions from several individuals. Numerous color plates were
executed by one of the best printers in Germany for this edition. The inclusion of original
handmade samples by Weimann gives us a clear picture of his importance as an artist,
researcher, and historian of the art of marbling.
With over 90 illustration, 38 in color,
And 8-12 original samples made by Christopher Weimann.
Contributors to the text include:
Ingrid Weimann, Los Angeles
Muir Dawson, Publisher and Proprietor of Dawson’s Book Shop, Los Angeles
Norma Rubovits, Paper Marbler, Chicago
Woodman Taylor, Art Historian, University of Illinois at Chicago
And Christopher Weimann
with a foreword by
Nedim Sönmez, Marbler and Publisher, Tübingen, Germany.
Published in January 1991 by Jäckle-Sönmez
Tübingen, Germany
Format: 11 x 8 5/8 “. 112 pp. Printed on Ikonox matt 200 gr/sqm. Hard bound in fine book
cloth with blind stamped titling on the upper cover and spine.
Regular edition: 300 copies with 8 tipped-in samples of original marbling, of which 3 are in
miniature patterns. US $175.00
Deluxe edition: 100 copies in slipcase. (Sold out) Each of the following originals is included
together with the samples in the regular edition:
A silkscreen-resist calligraphy of the word “ebru”
Book cover from his Marbling in Miniature
Flower in miniature
Marbled and printed “Applying color to the size” in miniature
All 400 copies contain an original marbled sample made in late 1988 for an invitation to his last
lecture at UCLA.
To order: Email floatingcolors@aol.com


“Christopher’s contribution to marbling and its history is enormous. His legacy
continues to live on not only in the works of contemporary marblers who are inspired by
Chris’ marbling and the writings of marbling historians who quote his research, but also in
the responses of those who will view his own marbled paintings. Expressions of awe and
praise for Christopher will continue to resound along marbling’s unfolding history”.
-Woodman Taylor
Nicholas Barker “Decorated Paper and the Art of Marbling “ The Book Collector. Vol. 41 No.3
“One of those who contributed samples to Ebru was Christopher Weimann. Indeed, he
has a more important part, for his hands can be seen executing a delicate double silhouette
picture of a Don Quixote-like figure in marbled paper on white and white on marble. Something
of the delicacy and originality of his work can be seen in this sequence of photographs alone. It
is displayed more fully in the memorial book published by Jäckle-Sönmez this year. Christopher
was only 42 when he died in 1988, but he remains to us who knew him an unforgettable
presence. He was extremely handsome, indeed beautiful to look at. He was gentle and shy and,
except among fellow enthusiasts, found it hard to communicate his passion for craftsmanship and
marbling in particular. He had found his way to marbling via leather finishing (his first
occupation), but when I knew him he was earning a living (and not much more) restoring
furniture and broken objects of all sorts.
He was entirely self-taught as a marbler; a natural delicacy of movement, an
understanding of how things can be manipulated, who found perfect fulfillment. He built a series
of devices for accelerating and improving the process without changing it. A visit to the Binney
Collection at the San Diego Museum of Art opened his eyes to the new possibilities of ‘Ebru’
and oriental stencil techniques. In 1986 he gave a demonstration at a symposium at the Sackler
Museum at Harvard, together with others from all over the world, including Nedim Sönmez. He
was not the only one to be overcome by Christopher’s skill, gentleness and originality-his genius,
in short.
In the spring of 1987 Christopher went on a long trip of Europe, visiting people and
places he had read or heard about. It was an unqualified success; he made new friends and
discovered a new enterprise, mingling his skill with that of Arabic calligraphy. Too soon after he
died.
Something of what he might have achieved is captured in this book, a notable tribute
from one marbler to another. Besides an affectionate memoir by his widow Ingrid (a constant
support in life), there is a tribute from Muir Dawson, who believed in Christopher from the
outset and helped him print and publish Marbling in Miniature in 1980, samples of which are
included in this book. Other friends pay their tributes, and there is Christopher’s own essay
“Techniques of Marbling in Early Indian Paintings”. Besides the words, there is a series of
colour reproductions showing Christopher’s marbled paper, his marbled pictures, his stencils and
silhouette designs, and the elaborate and beautiful combinations of woodcut and marbled paper.
The quality of the colour, essential for the delicate tints and textures or Christopher’s work, is
again the highest. Some of the magic lives on in this admirable book.”
Images from Marbling in Miniature
Book Review by Tom Leech, Society of Marbling Annual, 2004.
Following Christopher Weimann's death in 1988, a number of fine tributes appeared in
Ink and Gall magazine. Polly Fox, Don Guyot and Pamela Smith wrote remembrances of
Christopher, testifying to his personal qualities and to the quality of his work. Other published
tributes followed, by Phoebe Easton and Irving Schick. In 1998 a retrospective of Weimann's
work was held in Istanbul, and another of his work and tools was shown at Dawson's Book Shop
in Los Angeles. But of everything published about him since his death, surely the most profound
and beautiful is the book titled "Christopher Weimann" by Ingrid Weimann and Nedim Sömnez.
I will say from the outset that I consider this book not only one of the treasures of my own book
collection, but a nearly indispensable resource for me as a marbler.
There are three sections to this well-designed book: text, samples, and reproductions of
Weimann's marbling. A fitting introduction by Sönmez leads into a ten-page recollection by
Ingrid of Chris, his work and their life together. It outlines Weimann's development as an artist,
marbler and scholar. We learn of the Weimann's mutual devotion to each other and to the large
part that art and craft played in their lives. We are moved by the realization that Ingrid's devotion
to Chris and his work did not end with his death.
Ingrid's essay is followed by contributions from Muir Dawson, Norma Rubovits and
Woodman Taylor. Again, each piece adds anecdote and insight into just who Chris Weimann
was. One feels there is no end to those that could have or would have written pieces for this
book had space for their words been available. For those of us who never met him, we are left
with the feeling that, by virtue of our common love of marbling, he too would have welcomed us
as a friend.
A valuable addition to this book is a reprint of Weimann's groundbreaking article,
"Techniques of Marbling in Early Indian Paintings" from Fine Print magazine (1983). His
scholarship is impressive, especially as he uses his skill as a craftsman to recreate these 300 yearold
artworks. He lays out a case for a new interpretation of these almost unnoticed works, and in
doing so invokes the spirit of an original, unknown artist.
The entry "Exhibitions and Lectures" is a chronology of events Weimann was involved in
from 1975 until a month before his death in November 1988. One must conclude that, prior to
the advent of International Marblers' Gatherings, he was part of, if not central to, a great deal of
the public (and international) activity of marbling during this period.
If the preceding weren't inspiration enough, the true joy of the book comes in the last two
chapters, "His Books" and "Pictures." We see and touch for ourselves a selection of Weimann's
work. There are eight tip-in samples from his books "Marbled Papers" (1978) and "Marbling in
Miniature" (1980). A deluxe edition of the book contains four additional tip-ins. Thirty-one
color plates end the book. Illustrations include Weimann's characteristic flowers, his work with
stencil, resist and line engraving, and collaboration with calligrapher Mohamed Zakariya. The
last 19 illustrations show full sheets of marbling, and it would be hard to imagine anyone not
being impressed by their excellence. From a traditional nonpareil pattern (titled "New Mexico",
1978), through his "Leaves" series of 1978-80, to his masterpieces "Paris" and "Flowers and
Leaves" of 1987, we are offered work that may forever be standards of great marbling.
One wonders what Christopher Weimann would have thought of the present state of the
art; of international marblers' gatherings, of websites, list serves and of newsletters for marblers;
of kits and classes and workshops going on somewhere, nearly every week of the year. How
many new marblers realize that Chris pioneered their use of acrylics or methyl cellulose size? Or
for that matter, how many other innovations would he have made had he lived? I like to think
that all of the innovations since his death and into the future, have been, and will be, made in his
spirit of sharing ideas. Much myth surrounds the craft of marbling, and it would be easy to create
a myth of Christopher Weimann. But instead, through this tribute book we are reminded that he
was all too mortal. One is glad that his work will be available to each new generation as a
touchstone to what is real about marbling.