Simple Suminagashi

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Translating as “spilled ink,” the Japanese art of suminagashi creates unique, unreproducible monoprints. This method of marbleizing paper is fast, easy, and requires relatively little in the way of setup or cleanup. Colorful patterns are formed by ink floating on the surface of water, then transferr...

Instructions

1.     The Boku-Undo ink set contains a few punch-out dots of coated paper. These dots float on the surface of the water. Ink may be applied with a brush, dropper, or straight from the bottle. Apply one drop to the surface of a paper dot. The ink slides off the coated surface and onto the water in a thin, lightweight layer that floats around the dot — like an oil spill! Repeat with more dots.

Step 2

2.      Experiment by disturbing the surface of the water with a brush handle, toothpick, or other tool. Swirl colors gently and pull plain water through.

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3.      Make a print by laying unsized paper onto the surface of the water as flat as possible. The paper will absorb the ink immediately. Blot gently between two paper towels and allow to dry.

print from video

Traditional Suminagashi In Japan, the traditional manner of creating suminagashi prints involves making many concentric circles of two or more colors, sometimes hundreds in one print.

Step 1

4.      To make a traditional print, use two very small brushes and a small amount of two colors of Boku-Undo ink. Load each brush with a different color. Touch one brush very gently to the surface of the water to apply the first color. Touch the second brush inside the first ink float. Repeat, over and over again, alternating colors. Reload brushes as needed. Make a single set of concentric circles, or make a few on the surface of the water.

5.      Make a print by laying unsized paper onto the surface of the water as flat as possible. The paper will absorb the ink immediately. Blot gently between two paper towels and allow to dry.