Hello, I’m Anne Hickley and Marbled Beauty is my brand for beautiful, unique, one-of-a-kind wearable art in the form of long silk scarves and wraps (with plans for other products soon). The marbling process is a mono-printing technique which means that from each application of paints onto the surface of the marbling bath you can only take a single print. That means that every scarf is genuinely unique – really and truly one of a kind.
I use both inks and acrylic paints to create my scarves, on silk and other natural fibres. In the video below you can some snippets of creating one of my scarves, available in my Etsy shop. Scroll down for more info about Marbled Beauty. You can find full details of the marbling process here.
I also create scarves using the ancient Japanese art of suminagashi, which is another form of marbling. You can find more information about this and a video on the suminagashi page.
What’s in a name
Marbled Beauty is, I hope you’ll agree, what I create, but it’s also the name of a rather attractive little British and European moth. As I also have an interest in insects and nature in general, it seemed a good name for my business.
Marbled Beauty is owned and run by me, Anne Hickley. I’ve always had the urge to create. I think it’s in the blood as my mum used to do a lot of dressmaking and some embroidery, and we both paint; one of my great aunts also embroidered and painted. I remember learning basic sewing at around five with some off-cuts of a green trouser suit mum had made me and some red thread. I can still picture the results and I’ve been fascinated with textile colours and textures ever since. I’ve also always had an interest in crafting, the history of crafts and how things are made. While my brother was fascinated by modern technology, I was harking back to ‘the olden days’. I’ve tried all sorts of arts and crafts over the years, including crochet, various types of embroidery, felting and botanical painting. I have a City and Guilds Level 3 in Design and Craft with a specialisation in embroidery.
While I still love to paint I don’t do so much crochet, felting or embroidery now because at the age of 39 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks your joints– and although I don’t have it badly, those crafts were putting a lot of strain on my hands.
Although I’d done some marbling as a kid, it was actually during an arthritis flare, when I wasn’t able to do much of anything and was surfing the net, that I stumbled across a video on marbling … and that was that, I was hooked. I had to try it – and I’ve been playing ever since.
I love the fact that every piece, whether or a cushion cover, a card or a long silk scarf, is unique – it’s actually impossible to do the same thing twice, although if you’re super-organised it’s possible to come close. (I’m not super organised!) I also find the process very therapeutic. I’m also a big fan of the ‘slow fashion movement’ – it can mean several things but fundamentally it’s anti-fast-fashion and throw-away fashion, and pro carefully created pieces that you can treasure and wear again and again. These scarves are created with love and care, and they can be worn so many ways, and with so many outfits. They can totally change the look of the outfit too, so they’re really a slow fashion win.
I love to play with colour and silk and create something beautiful; Marbled Beauty gives me a chance to share that beauty with the world.