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1265Teaching Suminagashi

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  • mpmh60201
    Aug 10, 2002
      Not quite sure what some of you are teaching the young ones.
      Please! If you are teaching suminagashi...DO IT RIGHT and don't insult
      the many generations of the revered Hiroba family. Getting the colors
      to float on water does not mean that it is "suminagashi". Even some
      of the most exquisite current book samples are (much) more
      contemporary versions of this ancient craft. Perhaps, at such a young
      age, these students should be taught basic "Marbling on Water" (or
      Marbling 101?) rather than calling it suminagashi. I'm thinking that
      the technique is REALLY GETTING WATERED DOWN, and doesn't, in the
      least, resemble true suminagashi. Treat yourselves to a fine example
      of this exquisite Japanese paper by ordering a lovely sheet from
      Aiko's Art Materials and Supplies in Chicago (USA). Aiko Nakane (now
      retired) was the first person to import Japanese papers in the USA
      many, many years ago. The shop is at 3347 N. Clark Street, Chicago,
      IL, 60657 (773.404.5600), a treat to visit...a "must" if you come to
      the windy city!...filled with treasures beyond description when it
      comes to handmade Japanese papers.

      By the way, a pad or roll of Sumi-e, or Shoji paper is quite
      reasonable at most art supply stores. Students of oriental brush
      painting use it all the time. The Shoji is stronger and can be
      handled with ease. Some sumi-e rolls have long fibers in the pulp and
      this prevents tearing when wet. Handmade Japanese papers have enabled
      me to create scrolls that are five to seven feet long. The papers
      often look very delicate, but are actually quite strong. Papers made
      in India and Thailand also work well and are a little more reasonable
      in price. These are usually large sheets and can be cut down to fit
      small trays.

      I have been teaching suminagashi for about eighteen years, only after
      getting my papers approved by Aiko. There is much interest at ALL age
      levels, and I'm currently instructing a summer class in delicately
      beautiful "advanced suminagashi" (students must already know the
      basics). The oldest participant is 80 years young. It is her third
      class and she hasn't missed one session of it! How wonderful it would
      be if a few of the "wee" ones out there continue to learn for many
      more years. Who knows, with much encouragement...perhaps a new
      "Master" might emerge! Keep introduc
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