Ebru – The Art Of Drawing On The Water

Ebru is the Turkish art of paper-handling or marbling. The oldest known Ebru was founded in the 11th century. It shows that even at this time the art had reached perfection. According to scientists, it probably took many centuries to achieve the astounding quality of this art form. Ebru is the so old that to this day there are disputes on its origin. Some assume that Ebru appeared in India, and later was learnt by the Persians, who passed the knowledge over to the Ottomans – Turks. However, some say that its origin might ultimately lead back to the Chinese Tang dynasty document that mentions a process of coloring paper on water with five hues.

Ebru technique consists of sprinkling colours containing a few drops of ox-gall on to the surface of the bath sized with kitre in a trough. By carefully laying the paper over the bath, the floating picture on top of it is readily transferred to the paper; thus, each Ebru is a one of a kind print. Mingling with each other, different patterns form whimsical colors and unique masterpieces.

In order to obtain wonderful Ebru results, you need 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 are characteristic of Ebru masters.