What is Ebru Art?
Marbling Art is the general name given to colored compositions prepared on a concentrated liquid background and applied primarily on paper. It is thought that the etymological origin of the word Ebru derives from the Persian word ebr, which means “cloud”.
History of Ebru Art
There is no definite document regarding when marbling, which is the most important of the paper decoration arts, started. In very old book bindings, it is seen as the side paper (the paper that connects the cover and the paper).
Marbling papers are also found on the edges and sills of the inscriptions in the old murakka (albums). Even if the publication years of the books in question are known, these dates cannot be counted as the dates of marbling in them, because such old manuscripts have been repaired and renewed many times over the centuries.
Therefore, the marbling papers in them may have been applied during the said processes. For this reason, in determining the start date of marbling, it is the best way to start from the marbling papers with the production date on them in order to determine the time.
Marbling papers called light marbling and made of pale colors for writing on are important in terms of determining the date. The oldest marbling papers, XV.- XVI. This art, which was born in the advanced Turkestan where they stayed in the 17th century, passed to Iran and Turkey from there, and the most outstanding examples are exhibited in our country (the said examples are in the Topkapı Palace Museum).
Colors in Ebru
In marbling, zirnik (arsenic sulfide) is used for yellow color, Lahore indigo from Pakistan’s Lahore (or Lahur) city for blue, a mixture of these two for green color, a large amount of zirnik for pistachio green, and a large amount of indigo for leaf green. For dark blue, natural indigo called behsi navy blue, soot used in ink for black, soot for white, red soil containing iron oxides for red (rose spring), leuk obtained from drying a plant in India for sour cherry rot, Çamlıca soil for tobacco color, etc. . used.
Intermediate tones other than these are obtained by mixing the colors together in certain proportions. Naphtha oil is used to leave spots and gaps between colors naturally or by squeezing lemon peel on the water surface so that the essence it extracts does the same job.
Ebru Art Supplies
In addition to paper, three main materials are used in marbling: dye, tragacanth and cattle lily.
In the production of marbling paper, dyes called earth dye, which are obtained from the colored rock or soil in nature, are used. These are paints of mineral or vegetable origin and insoluble in water. Aniline dyes are also not used in Ebru; because these paints dissolve in the tragacanth water on which they will be sprinkled, so they cannot hold on to the surface of the paper and fall off. In short, the dyes to be used in marbling must not dissolve in water and must not contain oil (oil spoils marbling). The dyes to be used in marbling must be extremely well crushed and turn into small granules (paints that are not well crushed cannot stay on the tragacanth water, sink to the bottom, then there will be no marbling on the paper).