Behind the Scenes of The Marble Collection

Behind the Scenes of The Marble Collection

After six months of planning and making, I'm thrilled to release The Marble Collection in under two weeks! I thought I'd go over the behind the scenes today: all about the ideas and planning, what's new, and what surprised me. I hope you enjoy!


The Idea

Last year was a quiet year for me (professionally, my personal year was incredibly hectic, with getting married on top of it!) Besides my limited-edition collaboration sketchbook with illustrator Magali Franov, I didn't release anything new. I was itching to be creative again and decided to work on new designs for 2024. I started by making the book blocks (paper folded, sewn, and glued together) and hoped an idea would come to me as I was sewing. I had many concepts floating about, but nothing was sticking. So, I decided to sit down, research, and get something set in stone.


Photograph by Zephyris.


I'd considered making a collection with marbled endpapers for a while, and it felt like now was the perfect time. Marbling is 'a method of decorating paper or fabric to imitate marble and other stone where colour is suspended in a thickened liquid and manipulated into various patterns'. It's a technique that's been around for centuries and often applied to book covers and endpapers. With Odd Orange, I've always aimed to bring a modern and creative twist to traditional processes. I enjoy modifying historical bookbinding techniques to make contemporary stationery that stands the test of time. I thought approaching marbling in a similar way would yield compelling and fun results - and I think I've succeeded!


Comparing and choosing book cloth swatches.


Choosing the Colours and Designing the Patterns

I started off the design process with my absolute favourite part - choosing the colour palettes! I still love the look of three complimentary colours for the cover (first seen with The Triadic Collection), but I wanted to approach it slightly differently. I decided to go with two colours for the cloth cover and the third for the ribbon bookmark. I love how this looks - it's still colourful and fun whilst being a little more simplistic.


Initial sketches for the clothbound sketchbooks.


To make the marbled patterns, I scanned scraps of marbled paper I'd made over the years and altered them digitally. It was an intensive process of collaging, manipulating shapes, overlaying, and playing with colour. Eventually, I came up with three patterns that were traditional in concept and contemporary by design. They suited the cloth covers beautifully, and I was incredibly excited to start production.


Endpapers digitally printed, before folding and attaching to book blocks.


New Cover Styles

The initial plan was to make a collection of A5 and A4 clothbound sketchbooks. However, after creating the marbled patterns, I was intrigued to see how they'd look as covers. I had some notebook book blocks I'd made a few months ago and hadn't done anything with, so I decided to make some limited hardback notebooks to test my idea.

Again, I went with a traditional style of hardback book covering: quarter binding, with a cloth spine and paper cover. Believe it or not, I've never made covers like this before! I love how they look. If they're well received, I'd like to make sketchbooks with them too.


New hardback notebooks with quarter binding.


I also changed the cover style slightly for my clothbound books. I've always loved having a different coloured spine for my sketchbooks, but the way I made them sometimes lead to fraying of the fabric. I pride myself on the durability of my books, so I started experimenting with new techniques to eliminate this weakness. After researching different traditional and modern techniques, I came up with my new cover style. It still allows the multiple colours, and it's even easier to lay flat than the previous design. Also, the edges of the fabric are tucked, so there's no chance of fraying. It's a more timely process but definitely worth it!


New clothbound cover style.



Shortly after I finished the design process, I began production. Here's some studio shots from the last few months as I made the new collection.


Large sheets of mixed media artist paper, ready to get folded into signatures.


Book blocks (paper has been folded, had holes poked in, sewn, and glued).


Book blocks with endbands and ribbon bookmarks attached.


I'm not going to lie - it's been an intense few months. Usually, I make 100-150 books, but this time I made over 200. It's been a lot of late nights, weekends, and early mornings, but I've loved every second of it.


Cover board with book cloth adhered.


Making clothbound covers.


Clothbound and patterned hardback covers before they're attached to the book blocks.


I hope you enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes of The Marble Collection! Let me know your thoughts in the comments and if you're excited for the new release.

I hope you have a wonderful day full of joy, inspiration, and colour!

- Morgan

The Marble Collection is hitting the website on Monday the 18th of March at 6 pm GMT

Shop The Marble Collection

Comments (1)

  • Amy Antler Wildling on Mar 06, 2024

    I’m so excited for what I hope will be my first ever Odd Orange sketchbook. Alarm is set! I know exactly what I want it for. These are perfect… Now, which colour???

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