On Friday 13th, Tiffany and her crew came to my house to film me doing ebru art for their program, called “The Arts Page” . It was a very exciting experience for me. I and the whole family look forward to watching it on tv, probably near Christmas time!
Ebru is a wonderful medium to teach children different executive function skills. Patience (sustained attention), precision, planning ahead and following instructions are some of them. Especially in the fast paced technology age, children rarely slow down to focus on the task at hand. When you do water marbling, the process allows you to see the direct consequences of your actions. If you are too harsh at sprinkling the paint on the surface, the paint falls on the water too fast and it immediately sinks to the bottom without being able to float and spread. Then you won’t be able to manipulate the paint. Apparently, there is more to ebru than teaching soft skills. I came across with a study where water marbling was used to teach children about Astrophysics. Here is the summary of the study conducted by N. Yigit and M.S. Bulbul.
They believe that there is a connection between art and science and marbling technique serves as a great medium to model how galaxies or block-holes formed in the universe. This study is carried out to transfer ebru art to the
area of physics education. They teach that topic visually by using ebru art. Stars take shape with slack dispersion of nebulas through intensification with the effect of gravity. First they took some images to illustrate the similarities between marbling art images
and real photos of the formation of galaxies, galactic black holes, galaxies helical construction and nebulas. They say, one of the reasons for the similarity between these is the mechanism of Ebru. Due to use of water, dye spreads like free movements of clouds. Creating images of galaxies which have been formed in billion years, in the ebru pool helps students to learn it through hands on experience.
In their activity in order to obtain nebula figures, they dropped the paints randomly on to the water and spread them by using some tools. To obtain helical galaxies , they dropped the paints inside one another and moved from the centre towards outside to make helical shape in a way that all drops came to each others’ centre. After that they created a whirlpool in the centre using the stylus. The mix of the paints creates a dark shade of black colour at the centre color and this is used to describe the black holes of galaxies. The densest place in a galaxy is the centre of it. Black holes are also very dense astrophysical objects. What shapes galaxies are size of black holes and their rotation. Therefore, the modelling provides you a great opportunity to discuss all these topics and illustrate them on the aquous surface where you have little control on the result just like the outer space conditions without gravity.