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Turkish Traditional Art

Turkish Traditional Art; marbling, miniature, hand made dolls, ceramics


The art of marbling on paper, or 'ebru' in Turkish, is a traditional decorative form employing special methods. The word 'ebru' comes from the Persian word 'ebr,' meaning 'cloud.' The word 'ebri' then evolved from this, assuming the meaning 'like a cloud' or 'cloudy,' and was assimilated into Turkish in the form 'ebru.' Marbling does actually give the impression of clouds. Another possible derivation of the word 'ebru' is from the Persian 'âb-rûy,' meaning 'face water.'
Although it is not known when and in which country the art of marbling was born, there is no doubt that it is a decorative art peculiar to Eastern countries. A number of Persian sources report that it first emerged in India. It was carried from India to Persia, and from there to the Ottomans. According to other sources, the art of marbling was born in the city of Bukhara in Turkistan, finding its way to the Ottomans by way of Persia. In the West, 'ebru' is known as 'Turkish paper.'

Hand-Made Dolls

Dolls, which reflect Ottoman and Anatolian peoples’ clothing and living styles, are created in a manner reflecting their origins and by using regional fabrics.
No kind of moldar is used in producing dolls, which are totally shaped by hand and made of wood, cotton, fabric etc.

Specimen dolls are produced by Nihal Karabol.


This is the name given to the art of producing very finely detailed, small paintings. In Europe in the Middle Ages, handwritten manuscripts would be decorated by painting capital letters red. Lead oxide, known as 'minium' in Latin and which gave a particularly pleasant colour, was used for this purpose. That is where the word 'miniature' derives from. In Turkey, the art of miniature painting used to be called 'nakış' or 'tasvir,' with the former being more commonly employed. The artist was known as a 'nakkaş' or 'musavvir.' Miniature work was generally applied to paper, ivory and similar materials.


Clay is the result of granite rocks being eroded by nature, and is the most suitable material for making ceramics. On account of its pliable nature, clay is easy to shape and can keep that shape after being fired. The ceramic industry, based on these principles, is one of the oldest in the world. - Earthenware pots are made by mixing clay and water, and after the firing stage, objects made from it become hard and maintain their shape.
- Ceramics means the formation and firing of inorganic materials by various means. The main component of ceramics is clay, which can either be shaped in a mould or on a lathe. Ceramics is a general name given to all kinds of materials created by this process, and to all kinds of earthenware products, including porcelain.

Published: Wed, 03/07/2013 - 11:20

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