should not die, and to read your destiny and future is a very old tradition and
– as I learnt – it goes back to the 17th century.
Association for Cyprus Paper Artists invited their members to join a workshop
to create an image for this tradition, a monument.
two successive Saturdays in October, the members got together in the garden of
our local art association EMAA (European Mediterranean Art Association) in
Nicosia around big working tables which had been prepared by our leading team Eser
Keçeci and Kemal B. Çaymaz, electricity was laid out, water provided, and….the
main factor… coffee was cooked by the liters.
participants had brought all utensils for the process, which was a roll of
toilet paper, white glue, corn starch, containers and tools and thus we started
to prepare the pulp, a brilliant white paper pulp to form the plates which were
to be the basic for our coffee stories.
process of making the pulp is time consuming and reminds us of kneading a yeast
dough for a good village bread. The pulp must be in the end, soft but not
sticky, manageable. We divided the dough into fist-size portions and wrapped
them in plastic film in order not to get dry. We then created the plates,
rolled out the dough nicely and laid it inside or outside the porcelain plates
we had brought with us, having covered them with some baby oil to facilitate
the removal later; they would take a day or two to dry when they were supposed
to be taken off. Some of our members had ideas of their own and created plates
freehand. That was Day No. 1.
second workshop day, we first of all admired the creations, the artists had
done at home during the week and, full of our own ideas, we started decorating
our plates. However, first of all, we made coffee, had our portions and drank
it nearly to the ground. Now the process started by adding Arabic Gum and we
mixed it properly, then pouring it slowly onto our paper plates letting the liquid
find its way….or, others used a brush to apply the coffee mixture in a controlled
way with a brush. From there some more artistic touch was added, here gold,
there an Ottoman poem and colours, small pulp petals and buds added…. there is
the end of the Workshop Day No. 2 we could admire a very nice collection of ‘coffee
monuments’. And I stood there and wondered if the artists had been able to read
anything in the coffee ground and had embellished them to pacify destiny.
there will be an exhibition to show these small precious works.