Re: [Marbling] Beginning with suminagashi?
- Jake, about suminagashi with kindergarten and up - It has been part of my art
curriculum for several years. Until this year I used speedball ink and
assorted acrylics and photo flo dispersant with varied success. This past
year, I used the boku inks with much more consistant results.
As someone has already mentioned, that horrible cheap manilla paper really
works quite well. If your budget allows, also use Diane's Rice paper. I gave
the students the manilla first and then the delicate rice paper later in the
session. The rice paper was harder for the younger students to handle but the
colors on the rice paper are more vivid.
The younger students (kindergarten - second grade) have trouble controlling
the the bamboo brushes and the ink. This past year, I gave them pencils to
dip in the ink and placed the ink in baby food jars. Each color ink had its
own color of pencil - blue pencil - blue ink. I also limited the colors.
Beginning with black and dispersant and slowly adding additional colors- up
to three - black, blue and red.
I set the classroom up with two students to a tank (large plastic containers
from Wal-mart). I have taught up to 24 students at one time using this
method.- many classes are kindergarten.
Suminagashi is a great marbling project for students - it is not expensive,
it introduces them to marbling, and they love it. Good luck!
- 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
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