With his left thumb held perpendicular to the rest of his fingers, Mustafa Yasar made a sturdy base against which to beat the rosewood staff of his paintbrush. The force sent globules of bright dye from the brush’s horsehair head into a rectangular pool, which was about the size of a large birthday cake pan.
After dropping more layers of multicolored paint, which pooled out into translucent coins upon impact, Yasar plucked a long, needle-like implement from a collection of tools and poked the water, dragging to manipulate circles into hearts, spheres into swirls and lines into lacey patterns. After layering more dye and swirling more designs, the water resembled stained glass. He gingerly plopped a sheet of acid-free paper on the surface.
As the outer corners curled, pulled by the weight of the dye below, Yasar picked up the paper and, lifting while pulling, dragged the sheet off the water, scraping it against the side of the pan.