Yesterday I gave my last Ebru workshop before I fly to Turkey on 20th of June. It was like a clear, bright window to me amongst the busy days. I like it very much when people tell me that they really enjoyed the workshop and they wish to do it again. Sometimes they buy the Ebru kit and try to do it at home. I give guidance to the ones who want to do Ebru by themselves in Perth. However I also do distant teaching. My wonderful student, Daniel from NSW, hadn’t done any marbling before when he wrote to me.
Yesterday, was a big day for me. Intercultural Harmony Society organized WA Parliament Iftar Dinner which was hosted by members of WA Parliament. The Iftar dinner aimed to enhance and deepen relationships of Muslims and members of the wider community. There were so many Western Australian Parliamentarians, journalists, senior members of academia, multi-faith community leaders and the Muslim community’s religious and civic leaders. Because Ebru is known as one of the best forms of Islamic Art, as an Ebru practitioner I was invited to make a live Ebru demonstration for the guests. Sufi music group accompanied me through my performance and my Ebru performance on the tray was projected to wide screen for the guests to watch. I couldn’t take my eyes off the tray at all so I do not know what people thought about it but at the end of the show many people congratulated me and told me that they liked it a lot. That appreciation of Ebru Art made me so happy. Before the dinner I was busy for weeks preparing 100 hand marbled silk handkerchieves for the guests as a memory of the night. I am so proud that I could give the participants a small Ebru gift to take away with themselves. I hope they like it.
These are the silk handkerchieves that I marbled for the dinner at the Parliament House of WA.
Water. Few things are as miraculous. Graceful, powerful, mysterious – it’s as precious as life itself. Centuries ago, inspired men and women gazed upon this most vital of elements and drew forth an art form like no other.
Their name for this exhilarating dance of color on water is Ebru. Sometimes described as the art of marble etching, Ebru isn’t chiseled or painted. Its beauty is unveiled through water. Every tiny drop of color descends into a sea of possibilities as a masterpiece is born.
Marbling is the art of creating colorful patterns by sprinkling and brushing color pigments on a pan of oily water and then transforming this pattern to paper. The special tools of the trade are brushes of horsehair bound to straight rose twigs, a deep tray made of unknotted pinewood, natural earth pigments, cattle gall and tragacanth. It is believed to be invented in the thirteenth century Turkistan. This decorative art then spread to China, India and Persia and Anatolia. Seljuk and Ottoman calligraphers and artists used marbling to decorate books, imperial decrees, official correspondence and documents. New forms and techniques were perfected in the process and Turkey remained the center of marbling for many centuries. Up until the 1920′s, marblers had workshops in the Beyazit district of
Istanbul, creating for both the local and European market, where it is known as Turkish marble paper.
The Turkish art of Ebru which is known to be practiced in Istanbul for more than five hundred years and known as “Turkish paper” for centuries in the western world certainly has a tradition which is passed from generation to generation by a master and apprentice relationship.
Ebru is an art which cannot be learnt by reading or listening as all other Ottoman Arts. It is extremely difficult as regards to its performance and effected by various parameters which are outside the control of a beginner. In order to overcome all these difficulties and guide the novice marbler to understand what he/she is doing so that technically perfect results are achieved, the guidance of a master is needed. It is seen that there is no marbler without a master and the tradition is passed from generation to generation by a master and apprentice relationship if our history of Ebru is examined. Ebru learnt without a master has no relation with our tradition.
One of the most important characteristics of our tradition is the use of natural earth pigments which belong to the chemical family of metal-oxides and other natural dyeing material all of which are not chemically soluble in water. The primary reason for using earth pigments is that the marblers lived centuries ago had no choice of making dyes other than the nature itself. Later marblers used dyes of the same origin to imitate their predecessors, to continue the tradition in terms of colour and appearance and to make the marbled papers permanent. It will be useful to clarify what is meant by “permanent”. During production of ready to use, off the shelf fabricated dyes, various acids and casein are added and by experience, it has been found that these acids burn the paper hence the binding or the calligraphy where Ebru is used.
A group exhibition of eclectic and environmental artworks from emerging and established artists. Paintings, prints, works on paper, textiles and design objects.
Anna Richardson, Megan Christie, Pam Langdon, Jennifer Sadler, Janine Quinn, Zach Freshwater, Jillian Kurz, Vesile Yilmaz and Kay Harding.
or 0403 421 190
Works are available for preview and purchase at Preston Street Artspace from Wednesday 21st. For more information please contact Nidia Hansen on 0403 421 190.
12 Preston Street, Como.
Above is the invitation of my first group exhibition. I have got some silk scarves with marbling designs on them and some Ebru paintings at the gallery. There was a great opening on Friday night. Thank you Nidia for all your hard-work and interest.
I met with 10 lovely people who joined me through my Ebru adventure this weekend. These were great two days. Lots of paper marbled, lots of scarves are designed and ironed as a Christmas present to be sent overseas. It was amazing to watch people work on their presents with love and longing in their eyes for their beloved mothers, sisters, friends. We shared a lot, I enjoyed the course a lot. Thank you everyone for joining me this weekend, hope to see you again.
I am proud to announce that my hand-marbled silk scarves will now be sold at Found, Fremantle Arts Centre gift shop. I am working hard on supplying there the best quality designs and colors. Fortunately with my new scarf marbling tank, everything is coming out very nicely. Lots of work ahead, I think I am not going to be able to run the workshops for a while. I will miss my students tough…
Christmas is on its way. Australia turns into a huge shopping centre with lots of red and green lights at that time of the year. All of the shops compete with eachother about the variety of the products that they put on sale for Christmas. Creative cards become very popular and everybody tries to find the best gift for their beloved ones at Christmas. Thus I am busy with preparing cards, Ebru paintings and scarves. I am sorry if I cannot update the web-site often, once I am ready for Christmas, posts will flood:)
All the best
When we look at the history of Ebru, we see that it had been used as a decoration for important documents as well as holy books. People used to marble the frames of a picture and that would show how special that picture or paper to them. Inspired from that, I marbled a mat board frame and I absolutely liked it! Here it is, what do you think?
Mark a day in your diary to enjoy this inspiring art exhibition and experience the daily art and cultural program.
Dates: Sunday 20 October – Saturday 2 November 2013
Time: 10am – 6pm
Venue: Edward Millen Home, 999 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park
The exhibiton will be at Edwards Millen House in Victoria Park.