Ink stick

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Record 22/66
Copyright PastPerfect Museum
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Collection Okasaki Collection
Description It called "SUMI." The traditional form of Chinese and Japanese ink is in sticks, not liquid. An ink stick is rubbed with water on an inkstone to render the requid ink for writing and painting. The best quality carbon black is kneaded into a glue binder to form the sticks, and there may be such luxurious extras as scents added as well as touches of pigment, such as sepia or indigo, to give the black a subtle tint. A good ink stick fetches a high price, and it must be made with great care and attention. There must never be impurities, and it must have a homogenous, fine texture throughout.
Applying an ink stick to an inkstone is an intimate act. It is a kind of internal preparation, a descent into quiet, for the calligrapher before the challenge of ink against paper is met. Therefore, the feel of the ink against the stone is of great importance. By this alone, a calliographer knows whether or not an ink stick is good or not. The choice of an ink stick also depends on what is being written; different styles of writing have different demands.
Dimensions W-4.7 L-2.6 D-0.2 inches
Category 10: Unclassifiable Artifacts
Object ID 2002.0005b.
Object Name Ink stick
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Last modified on: December 12, 2013