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The Ancient Art of Ebru, Traditional Turkish Water-Marbling

In this Workshop, I will share with you the 600 years old history, culture and technique of mesmerizing water marbling. ... full details

$40.00 / per workshop

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About this Workshop

Description

In this Workshop, I will share with you the 600 years old history, culture and technique of mesmerizing water marbling.  We will explore how to float colors on top of the water, and learn how to transfer those one-of-a-kind designs onto paper.

Ebru art is a miraculous combination of scientific thinking and art!  Surface tension, the density of liquids and gravity are only some of the scientific concepts that this activity will illustrate.  Learners will learn about the properties of aqueous surface design and make observations about the viscosity of water.  This art strengthens hand and eye coordination and helps learners to develop good scientific inquiry skills.  Learners will also learn about color theory and the use of various surfactants to create different designs.

Marbling increases the ability to pay attention to detail and develops creative thinking skills.  Learners will acquire the ability to notice the patterns in nature and reproduce them on the marbling tray.  They will also learn about the philosophy of water, which is all about mindfulness and emotional well-being. During the Workshop, I will share three important lessons that water teaches us: being flexible, being open to change, and being humble.  The regular practice of this relaxing and calming art is sure to help learners with emotional regulation later in life.

Marbling is directly related to only to art and science, but also to history.  Ebru art has been used as a cryptology technique in history, because each pattern can be produced only once.  Benjamin Franklin marbled his notes in order to prevent counterfeiting!  It is the oldest form of decorative paper art, and it is also related to bookbinding.

I was born in Turkey, and ebru is a traditional art in my country.  I learned about ebru art from various masters when I lived in Istanbul.  I started as a hobby, but then when we moved to Australia my passion for ebru art evolved into a successful business. 

Marbling is like working with a puzzle, every time I marble, I unveil another mystery. Sometimes I stay up until morning, losing track of time marbling. It is an intense joy.  It is full of surprises. One night I stayed up marbling in my studio , I did not notice that it was already morning.  When I lifted my head, I saw the first lights of the sun!  It was the most beautiful sunrise that I have ever witnessed. I was ecstatic with marbling and nature.

I am a Wisconsin-based teaching artist and I go to schools, community centers, libraries and art galleries for various programs such as artist residencies, demonstrations and classes.  I am excited to be able to offer this Workshop so that I may share ebru art-making with you!

What You'll Need

GLOkit What's a GLOkit?

glokit

The Ancient Art of Ebru, Traditional Turkish Water-Marbling GLOkit

This GLOkit contains the two essential ingredients for marbling: emulsion paints and carrageenan-a marine lichen that turns water into a gelatinous liquid, called "size." The paints come in 0.7 fl. oz.plastic dropper bottles and in 4 different colors: red, blue, yellow and green. You can mix the paints to have different color if you wish!

GLOkit Included
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Additional Supplies

Learners will need to prepare the marbling size at least three hours prior to the Workshop:

Pour six cups (1.5 quarts) of very hot water into your marbling tray.  Sprinkle all of the carrageenan on top of it with a strainer or sifter, distributing it evenly.  Mix carefully with a whisk until all the particles dissolve.  Let it sit for at least 3 hours.  You can mix the solution from time to time to help with the dissolving process.  When the solution is clear, it is ready to go!

Learners will also need:

  • A container/tray to hold the marbling size. (9"x13" aluminum foil pans are ideal for this) 
  • Papers to marble (cut to the size of your marbling container)
  • A dropper or a pipette (optional)
  • Skewers or toothpicks of various thicknesses to manipulate the paint on the water
  • A cup of water mixed with one drop of dish detergent
  • A box of paper tissues
  • A garbage bin
  • A tablecloth to cover your workspace
  • A drying rack to hang the marbled papers
  • Scrap papers or newspapers to clean the "ghost pattern" (cut to the size of the marbling tray)
  • An apron or an art smock

Technical Requirements

You will need a device (computer or tablet) that is equipped with a camera, microphone, and speakers. For more information, please check out our Technical Requirements page.

Meet the Instructor

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Vesile YilmazView Profile

I was born in the cradle of civilization, a small city in ancient Mesopotamia, now called Urfa and located in Southeast Turkey.  Growing up in my extended family, I used to listen to stories from my grandmother under the stars of the night sky about strong women who were not afraid to unfold their destinies yearning for education and dreaming about far, far away lands.  Maybe it is those stories that gave me the courage to go to college, complete my masters and move to Australia in 2012. My nomadic side could not resist the urge to go see new places, meet new people and spread my passion to others around the world, and I ultimately found myself living in Wisconsin, America. 

There are so many wonderful traditions in Turkish culture.  The evil eye is a common symbol, and we decorate our houses and sometimes trees with them to keep them safe and protected. Also, there are so many seasonal traditions.  For example, at the end of winter a straw witch dressed with old clothing symbolizing the past year is placed on a bonfire and burned to ashes.

In Turkey, I grew up in a village and thus I always turned to nature for all of my creative needs. I remember making bride and groom dolls from the dried seed pods of poppy flowers.  Similarly, we would recycle our old clothes and cut them into strips to wrap them around "t" shaped sticks to make our "worry dolls."  I was fascinated by earth pigments and I made my own watercolors from the plants and flowers from our backyard. 

I have always enjoyed being creative, and today I am an ebru water marbling artist.  Paints and brushes are my favorite materials to work with.  I make my own horse-hair brushes; tieing them on rose wood requires a lot of practice!  Similarly, I crush my own pigments and constantly adjust them so that they float on the water.  I feel like a scientist in a lab, trying to find the perfect formula! 

I believe that every person is a universe.  I would like to inspire young people to discover what is hidden in each universe.  Fostering their curiosity, and instilling a life-long learning passion, is the most valuable skill that we can teach to our children.  Ebru art is the small-scale representation of our macro cosmos; it is a stage that we can observe the way nature creates unique forms continuously.  An infinite source of creativity and beauty, dynamic and constantly evolving.  Everyday opens a door to a new universe.  

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The Ancient Art of Ebru, Traditional Turkish Water-Marbling