Life is Better With a Chocolate Spoon and the Art of Ebru
These last few weeks, I've been seeking out activities outside of the school community with some success. Two weeks ago, I spotted a free ebru workshop through mymerhaba.com- a great website that lists the goings on around town. Ebru, is the Turkish art of paper marbling and the workshop was held right in front of Yeni Cami (New Mosque) in the Sultanhamet neighborhood.
It was a little crowded, but I was able to peek over shoulders to observe the master artist go through the process, where a design is created in a tub of water and printed on a piece of paper. First, the artist sprinkled what I later found out was turpentine with various sized brushes on the water surface- a technique that creates the marbling effect. She then used metal pin tools of various thicknesses to create a floating design on the water, by dipping the tool in ink and carefully placing the ink, drop by drop onto the water. When she got a good sized stain of color on the water (and some had several colors within one small pool), she wove the pin tool through it with quick deliberate gestures, creating leaves, a stem, or petals. She teased curving ends from the petal tips and leaves, until she had a beautiful buoyant floral painting. Once the design was ready, she placed a piece of paper on top of it (without submerging it), and pulled up the finished design.
Afterward, I was curious about ebru and its connection to the marbled paper that Florence is also famous for, and found this interesting article about it online. Turns out that Europeans got it from Turkey! I'll have a chance to find out a bit more about it this coming weekend at another more extensive workshop at an art center called Les Arts Turcs. Hopefully my hand will be a little more steady and my marbling a little more marbled!