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Ink recipe #24536 10/03/10 02:34 PM
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Cecile en Don Wa Offline OP
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Hello,
Does someone know a recipe for ink chips used with a sumitsubo?
My supply is running low and the seller I purchased them from a few years ago no longer has the chips only the fluid ink in plastic dispensers. I prefer the chips but mostly I would like to know how to make this ink.

Greetings,

Don

Re: Ink recipe #24538 10/04/10 03:28 AM
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Chris Hall Offline
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Hey don, i'm not much of an expert on this topic, but this,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSK8l-sAqy4

or this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeeCCf-F8os

and maybe this

http://www.thefind.com/crafts/info-sumi-ink-stick

might be of help to you.

The ink sticks are made from the soot produced by burning certain kinds of pine trees, at the time of year when the humidity levels are right, and then combining this soot with 'nikawa', a binder made from animal bones. More specifically, nikawa is made from the skins, bones, tendons and intestines of animals or fish skins and bones, which are boiled in water to extract gelatin. Excess water is evaporated away, and after cooling leaves a jelly-like glue. Nikawa does not dissolve in cold water, but can be dissolved when heated.

Here's a source for nikawa:

http://store.hiromipaper.com/nikawacowskinglue.aspx

This mixture of the soot and nikawa, once properly combined (a physically-demanding job, from all accounts), is then placed in molds to dry, later wrapped in straw and aged, and, with the higher-quality products, the hardened ink blank is polished with shell to give it a high lustre.

Hope that helps.

~Chris


My blog on carpentry practice, East and West:

https://thecarpentryway.blog
Re: Ink recipe #24539 10/04/10 11:11 AM
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Cecile en Don Wa Offline OP
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Hello,
well since I was always skeptical of the advise of experts anyway you still get full credit from me Chris. Only thing is that these ink cakes are not exactly what I meant as they have not so much to do particularly with woodworking or timber framing. What I am after are the thin and water soluble flakes that go into the inkwell of a sumitsubo in order to charge the silk string with ink for then snapping a line on a length of timber.


Once I tried mixing up some hide glue with soot m's-elf and letting it dry up on a plate of glass thinking it might dry and flake off nicely but instead, wouldn't you know, it stuck fast to the glass and I could only scrape it off as dust. In short, not a success, and so, my posting....


Even though in the meantime I did track down someone selling the flake and also the proper red pigment for doing red work, I would still be interested in a recipe for making up some home-brew.


Greetings,

Don

Re: Ink recipe [Re: Cecile en Don Wa] #24768 11/22/10 02:47 PM
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Cecile en Don Wa Offline OP
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Hello,
Oh it is kind of an odd thing that occurred just now relating to my sumitsubo quest. Like I wrote last, I'd located a source for some pretty authentic or lets say old fashioned components and material needed for the sumitsibo. And then just today something caught my eye as I was walking out the back door through the old washroom off of the former stall. A sack that's been around here for a few years, with some stuff in it I pulled out of the drawers of an old tansu in disrepair I bought some years ago.




At the time I had looked the stuff over in curiosity but then just set it aside. And then today, for some reason it struck me that the two red boxes were filled with cotton filling for the ink pot of the sumitsibo, (see the stylized sumitsubo in the packaging), and the sack of red powder - which is now staining the keys of my computer key board - is ink for striking lines on timbers, just what I had been trying to track down. And now I receive it, directly from Japan by way of an old tansu.

Last edited by Cecile en Don Wa; 11/22/10 02:59 PM.
Re: Ink recipe [Re: Cecile en Don Wa] #24770 11/23/10 12:34 AM
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Chris Hall Offline
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Funny how things work like that Don.


My blog on carpentry practice, East and West:

https://thecarpentryway.blog

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