What Is Ebru ?

AbouttheArtistEbru, which is generally known today as decorative paper art, is one of the oldest Turkish arts, but exactly where or when it started remains unknown. Ebru is an art from the realms of history, presenting to us a beauty that is full of love. It can be described as painting on water. Patterns are formed on the surface of the water which has had substances added to it to increase the viscosity; the patterns are then transferred to paper, ceramic or silk. The results of this process are unique and it is never possible to achieve the same design again.

Those who have traced the history claim that the many-hued Ebru that we know today was born in Turkistan in Central Asia, a place that was the center for many cultures. From the 17th century on, it became known as Turkish Paper in Europe, and from here the art of Ebru reached the rest of the world.

The Turks started to make paper in the 15th century. With their sensitive souls and their mystic personalities, they became very advanced in the art of paper decoration. Ebru paper, especially those of fine design, was first used as the background to important official state papers, a variety of treaties and the records of important events. It was used as a means to prevent the alteration of the document. In addition, the edges of commercial registers were decorated with Ebru in order to prevent the removal of pages. Ebru holds an important place in the history of Islamic art; it was used alongside calligraphy and in publishing. Moreover, its mystic nature, that is, “the search for divine beauty”, led to its being used in many tekkes as a reflection of Sufi thought.

Marbling Art / Vesile Yilmaz

E-mail: Vesileyilmaz1@gmail.com

Mobile: +1 (262) 327- 6206

2 thoughts on “What Is Ebru ?

  1. Hi Vesile,

    I am interested in learning the art of Ebru or turkish marbelling to apply to silk. I would like to take a course of some sort. I live in Melbourne. Do you know of any one here that is offering such a course or alternatively – do you offer online courses?

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Silk marbling usually comes after you learn the basics of paper marbling. This is to save you money as experimenting with silk is much more costly that the paper. Once you master the technique, you can produce beautiful patterns on silk. Unfortunately, I do not know anybody in Melbourne offering marbling lessons. I now reside in the USA. Let me know if you are interested in a SKYPE lesson.
      Best regards,

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