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Tessai's Inkstick* : 3 5/8" x 15/16" x 7/16" color: Black. Tung Oil Soot (101 Grade).
Inkstone: 4 3/4" diameter, 3/4" height(with lid) made from charcoal black nature stone.
*Tessai's Inkstick by Hu Kaiwen is the best brand name in China.
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 character in Chinese for ink, 墨 "mo", (or "sumi" in Japanese pronunciation) is a combination of two radicals, "hei" or black, and "t'u" which means dirt or earth. The chief ingredients of a high quality ink are tung oil soot, incense and binding glue. The tung oil is made from the nuts of the tung tree. 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.
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.
Comparing to bottled ready-to-use inks, hand-ground inks give richer and finer tones. This well treated ink stick can last for long time for moderate uses.
Tips on usage:
- 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 Sumi stick. Wipe it immediately with a piece of rice paper or tissue and let it air dry after each use.
- Store the sticks in a dry place and avoid direct sunlight and draft. This high-grade ink stick comes with a storage box made of the tung wood.
We will ship via USPS priority mail.