April 20, 2022 9:43 AM   Subscribe

The art of calligraphy on a dried leaf was practiced widely in Ottoman Turkey. This was difficult and delicate work. The leaf was dried, and the tissue removed to leave the skeletal membrane, with gold ink applied over it. For Ramadan, here are 20 exquisite examples… (sltwitter, or threadreader rollout)
posted by curious nu (18 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
This, right here is why I still read metafilter. This is so cool.
posted by liminal_shadows at 9:45 AM on April 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

Dang, that's gorgeous work. I shudder at the idea of trying to not destroy the leaves in the process; hard to imagine not clumsying it to shreds at some point.
posted by cortex at 10:02 AM on April 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

I thought that I would never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
posted by Nelson at 10:07 AM on April 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Absolutely beautiful.

As an aside: the title of this post reminded me of kerleafgraphy.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:31 AM on April 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Thank you so much for posting this.
Metafilter at its best.
posted by adamvasco at 11:37 AM on April 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

That must have taken so much patience. Incredibly beautiful thanks for posting.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 12:03 PM on April 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Lovely, elegant.
posted by Oyéah at 12:30 PM on April 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

I just said wow 20 times! This is fantastic!

Nthing the sentiment that this is the sort of content that makes metafilter great!

Thanks for sharing this!
posted by danabanana at 1:48 PM on April 20, 2022

Two hard things! These are exquisite and I am so glad you shared them. I wonder what their process was for reducing the leaves to just the structural parts.
posted by janell at 2:20 PM on April 20, 2022

(There are lots of modern recipes for skeletonizing leaves but they are mostly predicated on impatience as the key consideration. I like to know the 25-step, 3 month, high reliability recipes from historical practices)
posted by janell at 2:28 PM on April 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

First, be smart from the very beginning...
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:34 PM on April 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

these are really beautiful - and I'm particularly enjoying the phrase " clumsying it to shreds" I can relate to that...
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:40 PM on April 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Ramadan Mubarak! (thanks for the post, it's not iftar yet and I'm hungry, what a lovely motivator).
posted by pol at 3:14 PM on April 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

That Twitter account is a worthy follow for sure, over at the Ukraine threads I linked to the thread of the mosques because it had the one in Mariupol with a story about the consort in one of the QTs:
I was curious about Roxelana.
Turns out she was a Ukrainian-born slave girl who rose to power, kicking off a dynasty lasting 150 years of women in power in the 1500s Ottoman Empire.

Anyway, I'm in that groggy post-sahur (suhoor) pre-work clock-in time so I'm just lying in bed enjoying all the art. Selamat Berpuasa* (happy fasting), as they say over here.

(*we never quite moved away from the old Sanskrit terms lol)
posted by cendawanita at 4:52 PM on April 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

As a lover of the color blue and architecture I was particularly enjoying their last post, before these leaves caused me to follow.

24 beautiful Islamic buildings & mosques, designed using the colour blue…
posted by tychotesla at 5:30 PM on April 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

Arabic script is, for me, one of the most beautiful writing systems in the world. The original ban on representational art, led the culture to develop an alternative aesthetics of geometry, flora, and writing, all really beautiful. These couple that aesthetic with delicacy. Amazing…
posted by njohnson23 at 7:40 AM on April 21, 2022 [2 favorites]

Ages ago my dad got my mom a leaf that was skeletonized and dipped in gold (or some other golden coloured metal) and I thought that was the coolest thing. This is way cooler.

From one of the posts:
To apply the calligraphy the stencil of the composition is placed behind the leaf and the gold ink with gum Arabic is applied.

I cannot think of a better use for gum Arabic.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:05 PM on April 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

The mosque in Mariopol was one of the few water sources for the people under siege. There are not a lot of Muslims in Ukraine. ( Stalin sent them to Siberia ) but they have a proud history.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:41 PM on April 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

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