Pine Soot Inkstick: Size 3 5/8" x 15/16" x 7/16"; Color: Black (with a very subtle cold blue tone). The round-shaped inkstone is made from charcoal black color nature stone. 4 3/4" diameter, 3/4" height with lid.
Ink and inkstone are two of the four precious things in a traditional Chinese scholar's study. The other two are brush and paper.
Chinese ink was traditionally made into solid inksticks for easy to carry and storage. The ink was then ground on an inkstone to mix with water for use. The main ingredients of this ink stick are pine soot, scents, and binding agent. The pine soot is made from the burnt pinewood. It does not fade to the extent that western ink does when exposed to light and ancient pictures and calligraphy still retain their resilience after centuries of display.
Blue Ink is the general name for this kind of pine soot ink stick made by the old Hu Kai Wen brand.
Comparing to bottled Japanese blue ink, it has less blue tint but gives a thicker body as hand-ground ink. Here is a tip for you: you may use this ink stick to grind the bottled ink on ink stone to make it into a heavier paste. That is, instead of using pure water you can pull some liquid ink from bottle into the ink stone and add just a little bit water, then grind it with the ink stick. By so doing you will get the quality of traditional ground ink and the convenience of bottled ink. This well ink stick can last for long time for moderate uses.
Inkstones are an acquired taste like several other facets of Chinese culture. They are generally black or dark in color and do not draw the attention of the eye. Their beauty oftentimes is not so much in how they look but in how they work, which is literally a stone mortar for the grinding and containment of ink. It comes with a lid to keep ink from drying too fast.
- Water was usually kept in a ceramic container and sprinkled on the inkstone. Use one end of the ink stone to grind in circular movement with a small amount of water. It's ready to use when the ink becomes very thick and dark. Don't use half ground ink. If gray tone is needed, add water to dilute it.
- Washout any left over ink; using overnight ink will produce inferior tones.
- Do not leave moisture on the ink stick. Wipe it immediately with a piece of rice paper or tissue and let it air dry after each use.
- Store the ink stick in a dry place and avoid direct sunlight and draft. This ink stick comes with a nice storage box.
We will ship via USPS priority mail from California.
Learn how to use inkstick on YouTube!