The Mesmerizing Ebru Art

The myriad of exquisite patterns imprinted upon a plain sheet of paper is an art, an art that is known as Ebru Art, also referred to as Paper marbling. Although its basic origins are not properly known, but it is said to be one of the oldest Turkish arts. It uses an array of colours, swirled and twirled on an aqueous medium making different forms of shapes, figures, floral pattern, sceneries etc. The patterns formed vary in complexity, from big designs to highly small, intricate ones but no matter the size the designs are well-defined and distinct. This art is truly a stupendous sight.

This technique of art requires a steady motion, a good level of patience and of course, an aesthetic sense. To prepare the aqueous surface, various surfactants are added into the water or a cellulose mixture is formed and filled up in a shallow tray called the Size. These solutions help in keeping the paint floating on top of the surface. The dye/ink is made by mixing water with the desired coloured pigment along with Kitre, a natural gum. Then the dye is sprinkled, poured etc. on the solution depending on the art needed to be created. After the dye has been added, the floating colors are manipulated using various techniques. An awl is used to create different patterns; the artists may also use a straw by blowing through it to shape the floating colours. The artist also fans the colours so that they move to formulate the desired shape. After the wanted piece of art has been created a Washi sheet or any type of absorbent sheet of paper is used, that is gently and carefully placed on the Size. Placing the sheet on the top of the solution transfers the image on the paper. Then the paper is left in open to dry.This method of art has been used for a considerable long time. The Turks learned to make paper in the 15th century, with the passing of time they mastered the Ebru Art. With the advancement in time, this technique started holding immense importance. Due to the distinct patterns formed almost every time, the imprinted paper was used to prevent the forging of a document. The paper with a decent design also started to serve as a background to pen down official documents, records and treaties. The Ebru Art is also used to write calligraphy on it and also serves as an endpaper in books etc.

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