Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Sumi-e help

Sumi-e help

Post questions and answers about living or visiting Japan or the culture

Sumi-e help

Postby somenube » Mon 09.22.2008 10:14 pm

For a birthday I received a sumi-e set. It is entirely in Japanese I only know the basics of sumi-e. (brushes made from horse hair and something mixed in water to make ink?) Can someone send me a link or help me understand how to use it. It has two brushes a stone ink container spread out for easy use, (feels like porcelain but it's black) and paper. The brush tips are hard ad very stiff; do I dip them in water?
somenube
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu 02.28.2008 6:15 pm

Re: Sumi-e help

Postby chikara » Mon 09.22.2008 10:27 pm

The wikipedia article on sumi-e has numerous external links. You may find something helpful there. :)
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
User avatar
chikara
 
Posts: 3577
Joined: Tue 07.11.2006 10:48 pm
Location: Australia (SA)
Native language: English (Australian)
Gender: Male

Re: Sumi-e help

Postby ss » Tue 09.23.2008 5:05 am

Somenube wrote:
The brush tips are hard ad very stiff; do I dip them in water?


Always remember to wash your brushes and inkslab each time after using. Take special care, don’t let the ink dry on the brush. Have to be very gentle when washing the brushes.

Usually, I will wash it under running tap with very slow flow of water. Hold the brush with the tip pointing downward, let the water flows through the brush tip, gently rub the hairs until a large portion of ink has cleared. Use a piece of tissue paper gently presses the brush tip to clear off the remaining water. Do it very gently so that the brush remains in its neat shape. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes.

After washing, dry it for a while, then cover the tip.

My father prefers using wolf hair and sheep hair brushes. Occasionally, he would soak the brush tips in water mixed with a little vinegar, he believed vinegar could help softening the brush tips and preventing the brush hair from losing and splitting.
User avatar
ss
 
Posts: 1656
Joined: Fri 11.18.2005 10:07 am
Native language: English speaking family

Re: Sumi-e help

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 09.23.2008 8:54 am

whatever you do, don't use warm or hot water to dip your brushes.. While you might think it helps to get the ink out, all it will do is soften the glues that hold the bristles and they will fall out.

If you live in the US, go to Michaels and pick up something called "Pink Soap." It's a brush conditioner that also helps remove inks and paints from the hairs of the brush. You can also leave some the Pink Soap and it will help keep the bristles pointed as well. Just rinse it out just before use and you are set.
User avatar
two_heads_talking
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English

Re: Sumi-e help

Postby somenube » Tue 09.23.2008 6:07 pm

Thanks for all your replies! The people here are encouraging and spend time making worth-while posts unlike other websites I have been too. :D
Some more questions: Why are my brushes hollow? (There is a whole in the center of the top that goes to the brush.) When dipping the sumi in water do I cut a piece out first or just rube the end in the water as if I were trying to start a fire? Also, Does anyone know what suzuri are usually made out of?
somenube
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu 02.28.2008 6:15 pm

Re: Sumi-e help

Postby ss » Tue 09.23.2008 10:56 pm

Try filling the hollow part with ink and see what you get *Ahem* :mrgreen:

Are you not using a traditional brush with bamboo handle? Sorry, Somenube, I've not a clue what you're referring to. Would you mind uploading the brush image here?
User avatar
ss
 
Posts: 1656
Joined: Fri 11.18.2005 10:07 am
Native language: English speaking family

Re: Sumi-e help

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 09.24.2008 12:03 am

somenube wrote:When dipping the sumi in water do I cut a piece out first or just rube the end in the water as if I were trying to start a fire? Also, Does anyone know what suzuri are usually made out of?


:shock: The ink does not dissolve on it's own. You need to rub the ink into the water (about half the length of the tray) until it gets to the desired consistancy. It takes about 20 minutes of grinding to get a good ink made. Also you don't twist the ink stick like you would if you were starting a fire, but rather push the ink-sitck from about 3/4ths up the tray into the tip of where the water is. It's more like grinding a knife or whittling a spear than starting a fire.
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

Re: Sumi-e help

Postby somenube » Wed 09.24.2008 8:20 pm

Ah, I see. Ok, thanks for the clarification. :D
somenube
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu 02.28.2008 6:15 pm


Return to Culture and Info about living in Japan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests