Ingrid Butler of Mill Valley, California has been passionate about marbling and decorating paper for well over thirty-five years. Ingrid is a master marbler, paper designer, painter and collage artist. She took early inspiration from her grandfather’s dark wood paneled library. It was a notable part of his Victorian home in New Jersey and is where she discovered marbled end papers in many of the fine, hand-bound books in his collection. The swirls and fine patterns of the papers struck a deep cord within her, and she recalls being truly smitten by the beauty and visual mystery of these remarkable papers.
Ingrid wanted to become an artist. She graduated from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in Graphic Design, having developed a keen aesthetic and a solid background in color theory, after taking instruction from the likes of Joseph Albers. But she had not found any instruction available on the specifics of paper marbling, or working with paper and the book arts in the way she had envisioned earlier. After leaving Providence she headed off to Italy for a three-year design apprentice program in Rome where she learned among other things to appreciate Italian art and architecture. After that she landed in San Francisco, where in 1983 she finally found instruction on marbling and working with paper. She soon opened her paper studio in Sausalito, and continued her studies over the years through numerous workshops in San Francisco, Venice, and New Mexico.
Ingrid Butler’s one-of-a-kind, hand decorated papers are true works of art, always creative and intensely colorful. She has left one bedroom in her house entirely white so she can rest there and clear her head of color for a moment, for each day is an intense immersion into color. She uses rakes, combs, bamboo sticks and any number of implements to manipulate intricate designs, which range from subtle to bold, traditional to modern. Her work is in the collections of The American Museum of Papermaking in Atlanta, Georgia, The Houghton Library at Harvard, The Royal Hague Library in the Netherlands, The Newberry Library in Chicago, and The Allen Library at The University of Washington. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in 2018 acquired a collection of her hand bound book, “Twenty-Five Years of Marbled and Decorated Paper” and marbled silk yardage for their new “Legacy Paper Collection”.