Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Hi All,

I'm new to this and have gotten myself into a bit of a pickle.

I'm in love with all the letters posted so far! Which makes it even harder to admit this...

I don't have my letters done.

Here's the story - I was super excited to try a new technique for the "Black, white and a touch of something" alphabet - specifically- suminagashi. It seemed perfect, something I've been wanting to try for ages, it was 'supposed to be simple' (famous last words) and I have seen some beautiful black and white sheets with the occassional band of red...

So a month, four books on marbling, and four suminagashi sessions in and I have yet to figure out how to get a sheet that is much more than a few grey swirls. I've tried different inks, different surfactants, different temperatures of joy.

The picture above shows one of my sessions, with test sheets laid out drying and the other pic is one of the best sheets I've pulled so far.

So, while I actually like the grey swirls they really aren't what I had envisioned, and I don't think really qualify as "black". Several days ago I decided I needed to move onto some other approach but am struggling to decide on a direction. I had thought my second alphabet would be a series of illuminated capitols but I may have to scramble/research and start those now.

I will catch up!



  1. Hi Lee,
    Have you tried using Arches Text Wove paper? That seems to take anything really well. It looks like you have the perfect set up there. I love the piece of suminagashi you show...maybe you can just add a color letter on top of that, or even a black one with a color accent. But don't give up! You've got too much time invested in it, and it could end up really beautiful and unique!

  2. Hey Lee don't panic!! We are actually pretty relaxed about the timing so take the time you need and post when you are happy with it. I think Anna might know a bit about the technique... Cheeky I know. Enjoy alaw don't let it stress you; the flow will happen!

  3. Lee, Forget about your Illuminated Capitals, they take so much time and I know your mind is on catch-up. Relax, and concentrate on your SUMINAGASHI,it sounds so interesting. Ann

  4. :-) Thanks, I will try to relax and keep poking at it. One of my local art stores has Aches text wove so I'll pick some up. I also found an import store that sells "real" sumi ink (I've been using drawing inks) so I'm going to get some of that as well. Hopefully with those changes it will work more the way it's meant to!

  5. Lee, your work prompted me to research suminagashi. Love the concept... keep at it... the final results will be MOST interesting


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