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Marbling and Ebru Surfactant recipes



        I thought Hell, I'd throw in my 2 cents.  For making traditional Ebru in
Istanbul, they take the fresh ox bile, strain it through a light cloth.  Then
bring it slowly to a light foaming boil- most used a double boiler.  It
smells REALLY BAD.  they would do this three times- much like the way Turkish
coffee is traditionally prepared.  This would then be cooled and bottled.
 It's much thicker than our gall- or even straight bile.  They never use
alcohol in it to preserve it.  I wonder if this is one factor that
contributes to  a "grainy" color appearance in much contemporary Ebru, since
alcohol helps to wet out the pigment thoroughly , and in breaking the surface
tension as well.  Traditional (pre-19th century) European papers by and large
used tragacanth and hand ground colors, and don't seem to have this
appearance. The use of a binder, usually gum, probably also plays a role in
this, keeping the pigment in suspension.  The early marbling accounts yield
scant info on this.   The Tertib Risale-i Ebri says that gum isn't necessary
for grinding the pigment, and suggests that Gall, a week old is suitable, and
also suggests Fig Leaf juice and Tobacco Leaf juice as surfactants as well!
 Something not in use among the Ebruculer in Istanbul today.

Any curious minds informed in the art of Chemistry out there have any
thoughts about fig leaf and tobacco leaf marbling?

Jake


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