Four Treasures

figure 1 choosing calligraphy brush P2 300x172 300x172 - Searching for a Soul Mate – choosing a calligraphy brush. Part II

Searching for a Soul Mate – choosing a calligraphy brush. Part II

By Ponte Ryūrui / 14/12/2011 /

As with everything in life, one’s first impression is crucial. You will spend hours working together with a brush that you choose, so make sure you enjoy its

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figure 1 choosing calligraphy brush P1 179x300 179x300 - Searching for a Soul Mate – choosing a calligraphy brush. Part I

Searching for a Soul Mate – choosing a calligraphy brush. Part I

By Ponte Ryūrui / 09/12/2011 /

A calligraphy brush is not simply a tool used for writing. It is a warp gate to freedom of mind, a storyteller of artist soul’s secrets, a mysterious

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Choosing Calligraphy Paper

By Beyond Calligraphy / 05/03/2010 /

The famous words of calligraphy sage Wang Xizhi (王羲之, 303–361) from the Jin dynasty (晉朝, 265 – 420) go: “use a hard brush on soft paper, and a soft brush on hard paper.” This golden rule is followed today, however one needs to remember than only the artist really knows what he wants. Learning how…

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Calligraphy Paper Types

By Beyond Calligraphy / 05/03/2010 /

The most suitable paper for calligraphy and sumi-e (墨絵, ink painting) is Xuan paper (宣紙), taking its name from a district of Xuancheng city (宣城), namely Xuan Zhou (宣州, lit. Shuan district), that existed already during the Tang dynasty period (唐朝, 618 – 907), where Xuan paper was originally manufactured. The main raw materials depending…

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Calligraphy Paper

By Beyond Calligraphy / 05/03/2010 /

Paper (紙, kami), alongside the compass, gunpowder and printing press, is one of the four great discoveries of China. Many sources state that paper first appeared in 105 C.E as an invention of a Chinese official Cai Lun (蔡倫, 50 C.E. – 121). This is however incorrect, as numerous archaeological sources prove that paper existed…

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Calligraphy Ink Handling

By Beyond Calligraphy / 05/03/2010 /

An ink stick is made of natural ingredients, such as soot (lampblack of pine, sesame oil, colza oil, etc), animal glue and perfumes (acting mainly as preservatives). For this reason special handling needs to be applied in order to prolong its life span and sustain its quality. First of all, ink should be kept in…

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Choosing Calligraphy Ink

By Beyond Calligraphy / 05/03/2010 /

Before buying ink we need to ask ourselves the question of what purpose it will serve, or what effect we want to achieve. For example, red ink (朱墨, shuboku), is used mainly by teachers to mark and correct works of their students, or on stones before carving. Silver (銀墨, ginboku) or gold (金墨, kinboku) can…

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Calligraphy Ink Types

By Beyond Calligraphy / 05/03/2010 /

Today ink comes in two major types: hardened (固形墨, kokeiboku) and liquid (墨汁, bokujuu). The latter one is mainly a domain of Japan, and it is chemical based. Washable ink was even developed for children practicing shuuji (習字, lit. “studying characters”) at school. It is said that the best quality ink is hardened, made of…

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Calligraphy Ink

By Beyond Calligraphy / 05/03/2010 /

Pottery markings found on Yangshao (仰韶) earthenware excavated near Banpo village (半坡) or other sites, prove that first “ink” existed in the form of a colour pigment at least 7000 years ago (mainly charcoal based). It was crushed on the primitive “inkstone” being nothing other than a mortar, composed of a grinding surface and a…

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Calligraphy Inkstone Handling

By Beyond Calligraphy / 05/03/2010 /

There are two ingredients that we will apply on our suzuri (硯, inkstone) in order to prepare the ink. One is water and the other is ink. Water should be fresh, not boiled, although bottled mineral water is also recommended. Fresh water from a tap is the most convenient, obviously. Ink should be of the…

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