Image by Raimond Klavins

Ebru, or the art of marbled paper, is a technique for colouring paper that can be used to decorate the bindings of books, or employed for its own sake, as a work of art. The marbler projects his colours into a tray filled with water thickened with tragacanth gum. The colours,
mixed with ox-gall, float on the water and repel each other. Brushes are handcrafted from rosewood and horsehair.

 

The colours projected on the water create patterns in cloud -like forms, this is the reason this art is called “ebri”, which means “like a cloud” in Persian. The
name “ebri” has evolved into “ebru” over-time. In addition, “ebru” in Persian means “eyebrow”, a meaning that is perfectly reflected by the patterns of marbled paper.

The art of Ebru was born in Central Asia, and then spread to India, Iran, arrived inIstanbul and finally reached Europe in the early seventeenth century where it was called “Turkish paper” or “Turkish marbled paper”.