Cini and Ebru: 2 Traditional Turkish Crafts for ArtWeek Boston 2017

Last week, I attended two excellent workshops at the Turkish Cultural Center in Boston during ArtWeek Boston 2017.

The first workshop was on Cini, Turkish Pottery Painting.  The second workshop was on Ebru, Turkish Water Marbling.

Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight 5.3.2017

Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight 5.3.2017

As a welcome to the students in each workshop, we were served Turkish Coffee accompanied with delicious Turkish Delight.  The instructors related some history about the beverage and confection along with their preparation.

Origami Tulip 5.8.2017.

Origami Tulip 5.8.2017.

I discovered that Turkey’s national flower is a Tulip while researching an Origami fold.  Tulips, native to Central Asia and Turkey, were brought to Holland in the 16th century.  The tulip features prominently in both Cini and Ebru work.  You can find the stylized form of tulips in Turkish tiles, ceramics, carpets and marbled papers.

Tulip Design on Ceramics

Tulip Design on Ceramics

For the Cini workshop, the instructor provided templates with traditional designs for the students to use.

I selected the “Sultan’s Caftan” template and traced the design on thin paper.  Then, using carbon paper, I copied it to a ceramic plate.  Next, I painted a black outline around the tracing and proceeded to color the design.  It was quite difficult but lots of fun.

The Ebru workshop involved adding paint to a pan of oily water and manipulating the colors which can produce a gorgeous marbled design when paper is laid on top of the water.

Pans were already set up for the students so we could add the paint, swirling in the water then laying the paper on the water and pulling it from the pan.  This resulted in lovely papers – some with the tulip flower design.

I highly recommend these workshops at the Turkish Cultural Center for both adults and teens.  Also, check out ArtWeek Boston (@ArtWeekBoston) next year too!


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