This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Provide a wooden trough 2 inches deep and the length and width of any desired sheet; boil in a brass or copper pan a quantity of linseed and water until a thick mucilage is formed; strain it into a trough, and let cool; then grind on a marble slab any of the following colors in small beer:
Prussian blue or indigo.
Rose pink, vermilion, or drop lake.
King's yellow, yellow ocher, etc.
Burnt ivory or lampblack.
Umber, burnt; terra di sienna, burnt.
Black mixed with yellow or red also makes brown.
Blue and yellow mixed.
Red and yellow mixed.
Red and blue mixed.
For each color have two cups, one for the color after grinding, the other to mix it with ox gall, which must be used to thin the colors at discretion. If too much gall is used, the colors will spread. When they keep their place on the surface of the trough, when moved with a quill, they are fit for use. All things in
readiness, the colors are successively sprinkled on the surface of the mucilage in the trough with a brush, and are waved or drawn about with a quill or a stick, according to taste. When the design is just formed, the book, tied tightly between cutting boards of the same size, is lightly pressed with its edge on the surface of the liquid pattern, and then withdrawn and dried. The covers may be marbled in the same way, only letting the liquid colors run over them. In marbling paper the sides of the paper are gently applied to the colors in the trough. The film of color in the trough may be as thin as possible, and if any remains after the marbling it may be taken off by applying paper to it before you prepare for marbling again. To diversify the effects, colors are often mixed with a little sweet oil before sprinkling them on, by which means a light halo or circle appears around each spot.