Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Hi All!

Well, I haven't given up! I've been plugging away working at learning suminagashi, albiet slowly! I gave the Arches Text wove a try and initially it seemed promising but was pretty inconsistant, so I gave in and looked on YouTube for tutorials, and BINGO! I discovered exactly what I had been doing wrong! (Everything.) So I headed back to the studio and tried again, slowly with deliberation and much less ink and more surfactant... I'm using a traditional Sumi-e ink and Orvus paste (cattle shampoo) as the surfactant, so I'm not getting the really vibrant colours, but the subtler grays have really grown on me.

With my improved technique the Arches stopped working...soooo I tried my cheap and cheerful "Sho-ji" paper - it's a big roll of cheap as dirt Japanese paper that I use for rough proofing and inital sketches... but it worked AMAZING! Way better than any of the 'good' papers, western or eastern, that I tried.

Technical note: I've been trying to add photos but appearently Blogger and I aren't friends today. It keeps 'messing' with my photos. deleting and rearranging them so hopefully this posts alright!

A few samples of the dozens of sheets I've made (this really is an addictive process):

First attempt at Arches text wove...the ink 'took' more darkly (as I hoped) in the top corner but not evenly... the contrast is a little high on these images (my camera was not happy shooting the mostly white/pale gray and I had to photoshop them.)

A second, more successful sheet... but still not looking 'right'!

One of the first sheets using Sho-ji! this is totally what I was looking for!


I can get two roughly 15" x 12" sheets in my tank, so I've got plenty of background to work with - now I have to get to making the letters. I know what form I want the final piece to take so from here on it it should be smooth sailing! (Famous last words.)

Sorry for the long post hopefully I'll be able to show some 'real' letters next week!



P.S. I'm not sure why it made a huge long blank at the bottom of my original post hopefully this will fix it and not double post. So sorry!


  1. Keep on at the suminagashi Lisa the more you do the better you get ... I love it and have been "flowing" for years. I am surprised you don't get great results with the Arches text wove as I have used it rather successfully for a long time. Anyway the good thing is you are getting good results now. Well done you!

  2. Whoo hoo Lee - how fabulous! I love that you stuck with it, persevered, and am sure your results will be stunning!

  3. Lee, I'm sure we are not seeing the beauty that your persistance is exhibiting. Marbling lines are a flow of nature and never two pieces are the same. Keep up the good work. Ann S.

  4. I am easily hooked on learning something this could be the next thing to stretch my brain....I love it.


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