Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite

Hi F&F,

The frog foot, the fishtail, and the swirl. They  sound like the latest dance moves, but in fact, they are just a few of the, seemingly, infinite patterns one can produce when practicing ebru, the art of water marbling. Water marbling is the technique of creating patterns by floating color on plain water or on a dense viscous solution known as size. The pattern is then transferred onto a smooth surface.

Traditionally, the images are freeform and abstract in appearance, but the art form has evolved; with  contemporary artists creating more stylized patterns and representations of flowers in their work.

Early marbling was executed on paper and the oldest example of ebru is in Istanbul University Library. It is estimated that it was made before 1519. The highly decorative paper was most often reserved for calligraphy and bookbinding for sacred text like the Qur’an. (Click here to see an example)

Today it is still used in fine bookbinding, but you can also see examples of the technique used to lovely effect on fabric and even finger nails; a truly unique spin on the nail art trend. (Click HERE to see the nail marbling videos by Simple Little Pleasures)

For the Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite, I’m sharing a few shots from a marbling workshop conducted by Eko-Lab and hosted at BLDG 92. With basic instruction and a little practice the workshop participants were able to create their own unique silk kerchiefs. It was a fun afternoon. In the end, all left the workshop with a new fashion accessory, a sense of accomplishment, and some basic skills.  Their own imagination will be the inspiration for an infinite number of designs and patterns.

BLDG 92 Marbling Workshop

Finally,  if you want to see this amazing technique executed, YouTube has many interesting videos. Click HERE to see my search results for ebru art. Click HERE to see my search results for silk marbling.



About atreegrowsinbklyn

I’m an analog girl living in a digital world. I’m happy except when I’m sad. I’m serious, smart and sophisticated except when I’m silly, obtuse and crude. I’m ambitious and disciplined; except when I’m apathetic and self indulgent. I‘m thoughtful, generous and honest; except when I’m insensitive, cheap and lying. I’m grateful; I’m grateful; I am grateful.
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9 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite

  1. Thank you for this explanation of ebru, an artform I knew nothing about. Great shots and info. You always take these photo challenges to the next level!

    • You are so very welcome. I love sharing. I knew about the technique from craft fairs and markets, but I never thought it would be something I could do. With just a little practice you can achieve impressive results.

      I know your hands are often deep in the earth element, but you might want to work with the water element sometime. 😉

  2. vastlycurious.com says:

    Really great interpretation. !!!!

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite | LADYBOY PROMPT

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite | Apple Pie and Napalm

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