Painting Water & Cutting Paper: Traditional Turkish Paper Arts

Hatice Erbas-Sorkunlu, Hayat (Life), Star pattern kat’ı (paper-cut) with şal (shawl) ebru, 2019, mixed media

Painting Water & Cutting Paper: Traditional Turkish Paper Arts

May 21, 2022 - Dec 18, 2022


  • Reception Jun 16, 2022 • 4:30-7:00 p.m.

Overview

Join us for a Celebratory Reception on Thursday, June 16, 2022 from 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Space is limited. RSVP required


Painting Water & Cutting Paper: Traditional Turkish Paper Arts provides an introduction into the traditional arts of Turkish Paper Marbling and Turkish Paper Cutting through the ebru and kat’ı sanatı works of Hatice Erbas Sorkunlu, an ebru artist based in Upstate New York.

Ebru is a traditional art from Turkey where the artist floats paint on the surface of water, makes a design with metal tools, and then places paper on top to copy the design.

Also known as Turkish Paper Marbling, traditional designs in ebru include a variety of abstract, geometric, and figurative patterns, such as battal (stone spread), gelgit (comes-goes), and çiçekli (flower).

Every material in ebru is natural and organic: from the rosewood and horsetail brushes (fırça) used to add paint to the water’s surface; to the kitre (carrageenan) mixed into the tray of water to increase its density (so the paint doesn’t sink to the bottom); to the ground paint pigments (boya) used to create the vivid colors in ebru.

Ebru is also commonly used as a background for another traditional art: kat’ı sanatı, or traditional Turkish Paper Cutting. Kat’ı sanatı designs are cut using a sharp knife to make abstract, geometric, figurative, or calligraphic forms. 

Painting Water & Cutting Paper: Traditional Turkish Paper Arts is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.