Saturday, September 19, 2009

Turkish Islamic art of Marbling (Ebru)

Ebru is the name used for marbled paper in Turkish.

The origin of this art might have lead back to China, where a document from the T'ang dynasty (618-907) talks about the process of coloring paper on water with five hues. In the early examples from the 16th century, ebru appears in the (stone) form, without showing signs of any manipulation. Over the years, several variations developed.

Ebru technique consists of sprinkling colors containing a few drops of ox-gall on to the surface of the bath sized with kitre (gum tragacanth) in a trough. The paper is layed over the bath and the picture floating on top of it is transferred to the paper. Each ebru is ultimately a unique print. To obtain beautiful ebru results, "one needs to have a light hand, refined taste, and an open mind to the unexpected patterns forming on the water. Patience and a good knowledge of traditional culture".

After the 1550's, booklovers in Europe prized ebru, which came to be known as ‘Turkish papers’. Scholars believe that the so-called Turkish Papers played a great influence on the book arts in Europe.




  1. Woah.

    How'd you do that?

    Is that water?

    What is it?

    XD It's so cool.

    P.S. How'd you do the thing on the blog photos on the side?

  2. I was not the artist who did this work, but I will do some research on it. It is cool.

    Oh and for the photo sideshow, its rather simple. I will add a tutorial post to help you get it done. Cheers!!