Ebru to Fill the Spaces

Getting anywhere outside of Ortahisar (the village of lounging, staring men) requires a trip on a dolmus, which is a mini-bus that zips from village to village. The unfortunate thing about dolmuses for us is that there’s no direct bus to Goreme, the village where several of our favorite people live. However, that aside, the dolmuses make it easy to get out into the world and see other places.

From Ortahisar, the easiest place to get to by dolmus is the town of 17,000 called Urgup. Were we slated to live in Cappadocia for an extended period of time, Urgup would likely be my choice of a place to live. When I go to Urgup, I feel like I have choices, like I can be anonymous, like I could buy a pillow if I needed to.

It’s a sweet town.

Urgup was made even sweeter yesterday when our family trotted into an art shop devoted to the Ottoman art of marbling (painting without brush ever touching paint) called Ebru. The shop owner is a woman who studied for 13 years and now makes her livelihood off intriguing others in this art (there are demonstrations on YouTube, but since it’s banned in Turkey, I’m having trouble embedding the video into this post!). For ten lira–a bit under $7–each, we were able to sit down at her table and follow her instructions in order to make our own paintings. She directed us towards traditional subjects and forms, but I already can imagine the fun that could be had with more freedom and the opportunity to play around with the paints and personal ideas.

We have hopes of talking her into formal classes, although she may not have time in the high tourist season of Money Making, but at the very least, we plan to drag all of our visitors in to her to try their own hand at the thing. And if their necks are cold, they can buy a scarf she’s Ebru painted, too.

Jocelyn's Flowers

Allegra's Flowers

Haakon's Tulips

Byron's Nazar

“Nazar” means “evil eye,” but we definitely felt caught by the warm gaze of Ebru Lady,

so much so that we also had to buy a cashmere shawl and a tablecloth stamped with Hittite patterns.

It was a beneficial afternoon for shop owners and dolmus riders alike.

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10 Responses to Ebru to Fill the Spaces

  1. YouTubed it. Very cool. You are all so talented.

  2. Jazz says:

    Damn girl! Are you trying to FORCE me to go to Turkey?

  3. Shannon says:

    These are awesome! Wow!

  4. Tom shilk says:

    Beautiful. I’m riveted.

  5. Tom shilk says:

    Allegras flowers are very de la soul.

  6. lime says:

    you all got gorgeous results but i have to say haakon’s flowers speak to me. LOVE the colors he used. his painting is just elegant and delicate and maybe just a tidge dangerous.

  7. lime says:

    just checked a video. what a fascinating technique. i was wondering how it would be that things didn’t drip all over the place and colors didn’t run. it was amazing to see that they transferred so clearly.

  8. C-leen says:

    Paco’s tulips have a Little Shop of Horrors vibe. I dig.

  9. Deborah says:

    Haakon’s TULIPS???? Without denying that the rest of you have talent, I must say that his stopped me dead.

  10. Mark says:

    My mom taught us to do this and we made intramural jerseys for our ultimate team…harder than it looks but if you have the right setup it is remarkable how well the transfer works. You guys really showed us up though with your composition.

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