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Paper marbling is a centuries old art of aqueous design that is transferred to paper or fabric. There are several methods of marbling, but the basic process uses a shallow tray of water or viscous mucilage, known as size or sizing. Ink or paint colors are carefully applied to the surface of the water or sizing with an ink brush (chemicals are used to help keep the colors floating). The artist then uses various apparatuses such as brushes, rakes, combs, and styluses to create designs. Once the artist is satisfied with the design, a piece of paper is laid on the surface and voilà, the colorful design is transferred to the surface of the paper.

Watching the process of paper marbling is mesmerizing, as is illustrated in the video below. Seyit Uygur is a Turkish ebru artist (ebru is the Turkish name for paper marbling).

Seyit UYGUR { Ebru Artist } from Oguz Uygur on Vimeo.

If you're interested in trying your hand at marbling, check out your local Center for Book Arts to register for a class. Here's a link to an instructional video from the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. The page also includes a great link to examples of different marbling pattern samples. There are also a number of neat videos on YouTube.