Home PageWhat is ebru (marbling) art?

What is ebru (marbling) art?


One of the traditional Turkish arts of ebru (marbling) can be shortly described; sprinkle the “soil colors” made by horse hair brush on to the density increased water by some substances such as tragacanth and the finally to transfer that colorful pattern on to a paper.

The used materials are; tragacanth, salep, such as carrageen for to adjust the intensity of water in the art of ebru (marbling). Ebru (marbling) art dyes are generally obtained from the soil, any kind of acid-casein free, water-insoluble coloring agents can be used. The brushes for ebru (marbling) are made with horse tail hairs. Ebru (marbling) vessel is manufactured, usually 5-6 cm depth of 35 cm X 50 cm galvanized, sheet metal or steel. There are different shapes and size combs in this art materials, for to make some ornaments and flowers in the ebru (marbling) art.

The most difficult phase of ebru (marbling) art is to adjustment the water and dyes. It is impossible to make ebru (marbling) without to learn how to do the right density setting of water and without to learn how to find the right balance of water-bile in dyes. Because of this reasons, ebru (marbling) art can be learned only to work with a master by taking advantage of his experience. Every colorful works cannot be attempt ebru (marbling) which are happening on water face and everybody cannot be ebru (marbling) artist, who think they work ebru (marbling) without to learn preliminary stage of this art or without to know how to use the right materials and dyes for ebru (marbling).

A very old paper decoration art is ebru (marbling) originally an art of bookbinding. It is not known exactly where and by who performed first time in the history but the general opinion of the researchers is; the Turks who find out bookbinding first time in the history find out also the ebru (marbling). Then ebru (marbling) art go to Iran and after go to the Ottoman Empire geography.

The ebru (marbling) art, what have attained to perfection about the artistic aspect in Ottoman time, has gained the real identity about the materials, dyes and technical point of art. Hatib Mehmet Efendi, who lived in Istanbul in 17. century, the first person who succeeded in creating figurative designs known as “orator ebru (marbling)” on water surface. After that, Turkish masters carried ebru (marbling) art today by their success to following different new techniques of flowers, ornaments and pattern

Ebru (marbling), what is known “Turkish ebru (marbling) paper” or “Turkish paper” in Europe, nowadays going to be known and applied almost every country in the world. Although it is known as ebru (marbling) in different countries, possible to see some “ebru (marbling)” works what is totally different than traditional ebru (marbling) art about the materials, dyes and technique.

1 comment

  1. ABDULLAH YUSUP RANDIMAN says: 22 February 2014

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