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Ink Sticks Without The Grind

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10 replies to this topic

#1 Icipar


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Posted 09 November 2016 - 10:25

Basically, I want to know if anyone has tried to mix Japanese or Chinese ink sticks by cutting a chunk off and stirring it around in a dip bottle, with the right amount of distilled water until it dissolves?

For those who tried. Has this negatively affected the ink product or produced similar quality when compared to the normal grinding process?

For those who haven't tried.
What do you think of this method of making fresh ink? Even though it is still time consuming would you want to try it or is the grind to significant a part of your art process to try and change it?

Edited by Icipar, 09 November 2016 - 18:59.

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#2 amberleadavis


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Posted 06 December 2016 - 01:11

I love powdered inks, but when I tried the black ink sticks, it was so different that I didn't even try it in my FP.  The consistency, viscosity and collection of particles seem more appropriate for brushes than FPs, but that's my experience and others views may differ.

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#3 Tinjapan



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Posted 24 May 2017 - 11:30

For those who practice Japanese caligraphy, the grinding of the ink is a necessary aspect of the process of writing, a bit of a prewriting meditation.

It is basically compressed carcoal, not for use in fountain pens. I doubt that most would ever dissolve in water.

Edited by Tinjapan, 24 May 2017 - 11:31.

#4 Sasha Royale

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 13:42

A solution should flow freely through a fountain pen.  A suspension may not.  It would be difficult to determine that your ink concoction is 100% solution.  Beware.

Edited by Sasha Royale, 24 May 2017 - 13:42.

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#5 Scribs



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Posted 25 May 2017 - 11:58

There's nothing I would like more than to while away a few minutes with an ink stick and stone... but, since I don't get on well with paintbrushes, and calligraphy's yet to become something I seriously try dabbling in, I haven't got an ink stick, nor an ink stone. :(

#6 dcwaites



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Posted 26 May 2017 - 05:07

Ink sticks use glue to bind the soot/charcoal together. It probably wouldn't dissolve properly just in a bottle with water. 


You could try grinding some as normal, with water, and then putting the proceeds into a bottle. 




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#7 sidthecat


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Posted 27 August 2018 - 15:24

You could also just use a bottled version, for a meditation-free experience.

#8 ENewton



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Posted 28 August 2018 - 01:03

I am just graduating from the bottled ink to grinding the ink on a stone.


I can confirm that sumi ink is not quick to dissolve in water.  I rinse my brush immediately and then repeatedly for several hours after practicing calligraphy.

#9 Mech-for-i



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Posted 30 August 2018 - 21:58

Traditional Asian Stick ink is simply not made to be dissolved ... its made to be mixed and that's why the grinding stone ... and even contemporary ready made liquid calligraphy ink for this purpose is not suitable for fountain pen and not even dip pen as they do not actually flow well. They are after all designed to be used on a brush which do not require flow at all

#10 Black-Ink


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Posted 14 September 2018 - 12:18

 ... and even contemporary ready made liquid calligraphy ink for this purpose is not suitable for fountain pen and not even dip pen as they do not actually flow well....


Many calligraphers use both ground ink sticks and commercially available sumi ink with dip pens. There is no problem dong this and in fact, when grinding your ink, you can adjust the thickness to match the nib and the desired flow. Sumi ink is also ideal for producing infinite shades of gray.

#11 Nadia


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Posted 03 October 2018 - 21:00

You may try ink cakes. It's solid Chinese ink but not for grinding. It's used by wetting the cake with the brush. The sticks have more consistency and do not dissolve just by contact with water.

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