Our family is preparing to lead a session for our local home educators' group on our time living in Turkey, and we have been planning activities to share. We have become very interested in the Turkish art of "ebru" (Marbling). If you type this into YouTube, a whole load of videos come up showing you this delicate art of painting on water. The boys and I are fascinated. Their favourite video is here. I like this one where an artist from Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul demonstrates this art form to a group of children.

We decided to have a go ourselves. In looking for a simple starting point, which might be possible with a group of children, I found this demonstration on the similar Japanese art of suminagashi. Since we didn't have any specialist marbling inks (though I have ordered some in the hope of developing our skills), we used watered down acrylic paint spattered and dropped on to a tray of water. I must confess I was not overly optimistic about oru chances of successful results, but I was pleasantly surprised.

We then decided to have a go at this method of marbling using shaving foam. I wondered whether it would be easier for younger children. Again we used the mix of acrylic paint and water, and our results were pretty good. However, it is impossible for children not to get their hands into the shaving foam, and as the cream has to scraped off the finished paper, there was considerably more mess than with the water method. Fun to try at home, though!