Suminagashi: Japanese Marbled Paper (2 day class)
Instructor: Beverly Frey
Join us in May for Suminagashi on paper. Suminagashi (from Japanese; sumi=ink, nagashi=floating or flowing) is the art of applying special Japanese inks to the surface of a container of water using paint brushes. Once you have a design that you find pleasing, paper is laid over the top of the water, so the paper absorbs the ink design. The paper is then removed, rinsed and hung to dry. The process can be mastered in an hour or two and is a very relaxing art to practice. This is a two-day class. After the first class, students have a pretty good handle on how the process works. The second day is a play day – to give you a chance to really experiment once you’ve got a good feel for the process. You should walk out of each class with 6-12 sheets of your own decorated papers.
Since no two pieces are exactly alike, the design possibilities are endless. Use your decorated papers for making cards, journaling, bookbinding or stationery. Papers are also suitable for framing, or as a background for calligraphy. You will walk away from this class with the knowledge of how to create suminagashi at home. It is neither a difficult nor expensive art to learn. However, there is so much room for experimentation, that Japanese masters spend a lifetime becoming experts.
What makes this art most interesting to me is that it is fairly unpredictable. As you lay the ink onto the water, the surface tension of the water changes. Initially, the ink moves across the surface of the water so fast it is barely perceptible. As more ink is applied, it expands across the water more slowly, usually in concentric circles. The ink you are applying bumps into the ink that is already on the surface, or the edge of the container. The interaction of the ink in this way creates more visual interest, and is what makes this art unpredictable. This is a class for the experimenter, who loves to be surprised by the unexpected. If, on the other hand, you appreciate absolute precision in everything you do, this class will take you out of that box and give you an appreciation for the beauty of the unplanned. Air temperature, water temperature, and airflow in the room can affect how the water and ink flow together. You can also experiment with blowing on the water surface to move the ink, or using other tools to physically move the ink around. In addition, papers can be printed more than once, creating an interesting interplay of design on design and color on color.
Traditional suminagashi is done with a limited color palette: black, red and blue inks. While you are welcome to stick with the traditional, we will have access to Japanese inks that are black, blue, green, red, yellow and orange. These inks can be mixed to create a wide variety of colors.
White and colored copy paper and card stock will be provided, as well as a few specialty papers. Feel free to bring your own papers, if you have something special you’d like to try. However, be aware that slick or shiny papers or papers with heavy finishing are usually unsuitable for suminagashi, as the ink must penetrate the surface of the paper to be absorbed. If there is too much “finish” on the paper, the ink will not absorb and will run off.
Dates of the class: Saturday & Sunday, May 20 & 21, 2017
Times of the class: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm each day
Maximum number of students: 8
Minimum number of students: 3
Age range: 18 and up (15 – 17 with an adult parent or guardian enrolled in the class as well)
Location: The Folk School
Cost: $66 (members); $99 (non-members)
Materials fee: $10 (Payable directly to the instructor. Please have check or cash ready at the first class.)
To Register: Please fill out the Class Registration Form below and click on the “Submit” button. This will take you to the Payment page, where you can complete your registration through PayPal (or you may send a check by mail).
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