Friday, January 15, 2010

The Art of Ebru....

Ebru, turkish for cloud, is a word linked to the ancient beginnings of marbling. The process of floating ink on water and manipulating to form intricate patterns is the definition of marbling.

For twenty years I have been a marbler and have collected marbled books and other related ephemera for the same amount of time.

I have personally marbled textiles ,wood, leather and paper used for lampshades and bookbinding.

Marbled books are predominant on my bookshelves. Most of the leather bound marbled books are from England or Italy where the art is still very popular.

This small chest was created by the Italian marblers of Il Papiro in Florence where the ancient art still thrives.

After purchasing these lithographs in Paris, I marbled paper to add to the matting before framing.

Here, I am demonstrating the process, using acrylic paints floating on a bath of carrageenan (Irish sea moss)which thickens the water and allows the paint colors to float separately without blending.

The circles of paint are coaxed with chopsticks and feathers into intricate patterns with names such as Icarus wings, Spanish moire, get-gel and nonpareil.

I love the way the pattern wraps around dimensional objects. Wooden eggs, spheres, apples and pears take on kaleidoscope designs when immersed in the marbling vat.

When transferring to paper, the process becomes a monoprint. Offset paper is often used after a layer of alum is applied with a sea sponge to prevent bleeding of colors.

When my husband gave me this wonderful murano glass bowl, I filled it with spheres I made marbled in a nonpareil pattern.

It is rare to find books with marbled pages as well as the covers. They were much harder to produce, getting the pattern to print on just the edges without ruining the print inside.

Small collections look fabulous set on marbled books. This is a cloisonne collection I have set on a pattern of Spanish moire.

Old ledger boxes covered in stone patterns make me giddy! I think the art of marbling adds a nice touch of history and artistic design to any home.  Does anyone else share my passion with the art of marbling? Do you own any forms of this ancient art?


Kitty said...

Theresa, you've blown me away again! I'd love to peruse the stacks in your beautiful library!

Theresa Cheek said...

Thanks Kitty!

Mandy said...

Wow, AMAZING! the patterns turned out beautifully. Wonder if you can do it on silk scarf?

Theresa Cheek said...

Yes Mandy, it is common to marble on silk ties and scarves. Marbling can be done only on natural fibers such as linen, silk and cotton.

home before dark said...

Over 25 years ago, when I was doing public relations for our school district, a young teacher (4th grade) shared her passion for marbling with her students. I can still see the magic forming on the paper and in their eyes.

Theresa Cheek said...

HBD-I have been doing it for well over 20 years and it is still magic to me... ;)

Inspired Comblogulations said...

I am blown away as well, I have seen it before but didn't know anything about it. I have a new appreciation for it. It is beautiful on books and the eggs are fabulous...I want to try this...with my grand daughter.
Thank you Theresa, another fabulous post.

Theresa Cheek said...

Thank you Lee! It can be addictive!

LENE said...

Thank you for following my blog! I also follow you, because I think it contains exciting art and many useful ideas ... thank you!
I wish you a wonderful Sunday
Best regards

Lynne Rutter said...

so beautiful! i love this stuff. been a long time since i tried it though

Theresa Cheek said...

I do love can be a love/hate relationship though! LOL!

ceecee said...

Your marbling is absolutely superb. I've only done a little - nothing like this, but just messing about by floating colors - and I was really taken with the whole alchemy of it. It's so old world. I could live surrounded by it. Thanks, Theresa.


Beth Connolly said...

I will enjoy my antique marbled books even more now.

Trouvais said...

Hi Theresa. Like stopping by a Florentine paper shop! Love shagreen also. Tried my hand at marble eons ago (remember those kits with feather included?)So many things I want to try...relying on you to show the way! Trish

Theresa Cheek said...

Well, obviously ..I AM surrounded by it!!LOL!

Antique marbled books are an investment, they will only increase in value.

I have spent much time and MUCH money in paper shops! Yes, I remember the kits with the feather!...and I think YOU are the one pointing the way...I am enjoying the "blog ride"!

Anonymous said...

OMG!...Such yummy goodies to look at,Theresa!...I have always wanted to try looks so fascinating. Thanks for showing us how its done!...another of my want to do's!
thanks so much for your kind thoughts on my blog today..
It led me here!...i'll be back for your blog..

Lamp Tramp said...

Your blog and pictures are so amazing and inspiring! Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I'm working on my oyster shells and a great post to help you and others find them....hope to post it tomorow.

Lamp Tramp said...

Your blog and pictures are so amazing and inspiring! Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I'm working on my oyster shells and a great post to help you and others find them....hope to post it tomorow.

Theresa Cheek said...

Thanks for stopping by!

I seriously want oyster shells! Any help will be appreciated!!!

LENE said...

Hi Theresa
Thank you for your nice comment!
- You have the same name as my daughter who died when she was a baby 26 years ago.
Have a great weekend!

Theresa Cheek said...

We have a strong bond....I have a 26 year old daughter...she almost died twice and was in intensive care for a month when born....I will think of you often.

Shandell's said...

I just found your blog through, Eddie Ross. what a great post about marble paper. I use it to make lampshades. I have a collection of end papers, which never seem to amaze me every time I find a new page to add to my collection.
I have marbled my own paper, but I leave that to the experts, I just use lovingly what they make in my world.

Theresa Cheek said...

Thanks for finding me :)
Would love to see your shades!


Regina at Fauxology said...

You have blown me away - gorgeous work! (bowing) :)

Theresa Cheek said...

Thanks Regina,
The restaurant you just posted is did an incredible job gilding the dome!

My Castle in Spain said...

absolutely fabulous ! i'm so into this type of paper at the moment...i just bought some (a peacock pattern) last saturday and i'm contemplating very carefully what i'll do with it...
You've done such a wonderful job !

Theresa Cheek said...

Thank you Lala! I enjoyed your post on chocolate..Blanxart is some of my favorite!

Nihal said...

Smiling Hello:)
I got a chance to visit your blog thru Merisi's blog. What a lovely article to introduce one of traditional arts, l'arte Ebru as we call in turkish, I appreciate indeed.
Yes, I do. I do share your passion with the art of marbling because I am an ebru artist. As a hobby I am in it, and for three yrs I've been busy with it as much as my current work allows it. Have posted a few articles, and will be sharing more in detail soon.

Mélanie A. said...

I love it , too but I don't have a collection like you. I sold most of them ...You have some beautiful pieces

bard catheters said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Ang said...

Theresa, I also share your passion for marbling. Some of my work can be found here,

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