The Ancient Art of Japanese Marbling
Suminagashi is an amazing art form that originated in Japan around the 12th century. I introduced it to my boys a few years ago and they loved it because it is a form of art where they can have some immediate success. Each print is completely unique and completely gorgeous.
What is Suminagashi you ask?
Suminagashi means “floating ink” and it is the process of marbling plain paper with water and ink to transform it into something vibrant and colorful. This website provides some background and history lesson behind Suminagashi: Sumingashi.com
Watch the skill of the Japanese artist in this short video:
SUMINAGASHI AT HOME
While my kids and I aren’t as talented as the Japanese masters, we are able to successfully float ink with this Suminagashi Marbling kit that’s only $12.95 on Amazon: Suminagashi Ink Kit
The kit comes with instructions and ink. You’ll need to have your own paper (I use white cardstock) and a plastic tub or large baking dish to fill with water.
Add a couple of inches of water to your plastic tub. Next, take one of the “float paper circles” from your kit and push it to the bottom of the bin with a paintbrush. Allow it to float back to the surface.
Select the color of ink you want to use and place a single drop on the float paper being careful not to touch the water. If you don’t use the float paper, the ink falls to the bottom of your pan and will not float. However, it’s easy to deploy that single drop – my kids do this all by themselves.
Next, either add another drop of ink or gently blow the existing ink across the water and watch it magically shift patterns! It’s truly beautiful.
We had friends over last week and they had fun making their own Suminagashi prints to take home. We cut ours into small squares and use them as note cards for gifts. Although Suminagashi prints are ready to frame all on their own, you can also add additional media to create texture or a 3D effect.
If you decide to try Suminagashi, please leave a comment below and let me know how it goes!
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