Rice Paper and Sumi Ink

During my lunch break yesterday I walked over to Utrecht to see if they had any rice papers or sumi inks that might work out. I did purchase 1 bottle of sumi ink, so I’ll be interested in comparing it to the ink that my mother had bought me a few years ago. Their rice paper selection was quite limited, so I only purchased 2 different kinds. The other issue is that I’m looking at working as large as possible, and the concern now is to find a supplier that sells rice paper in rolls and at the height I’m looking for. Utrecht sells rolls of rice paper online, but the rolls are only about 18″ tall, and that’s not nearly the size that I’m looking for. I’m hoping to find a roll that’s around 36″ tall or larger. I’ve also been looking at NY Central, which has a legendary selection of handmade papers. I may just need to make a trip to NYC and go paper shopping to find exactly what I need. My mother’s Chinese calligraphy teacher might also be a good resource to ask; he painted a giant scroll for my wedding so he must know where to get the materials.

Sometimes I think that half of the creative process is choosing your materials. I think I especially feel that way because I work in so many disciplines, so for that reason I always have so many options in front of me. While sometimes I have to do a significant amount of research or do things like drive to New York City to get supplies, I do enjoy the process of finding and narrowing down my search to the exact materials that will garner the results that I’m looking for. Even something as simple as an ink drawing can demand multiple experiments to find just the right combination of paper and ink. Oddly enough, I never seem to care about what kinds of brushes I’m working with. I know there are so many brushes out there, but I’ve always seemed to be more comfortable with the Chinese calligraphy brushes for ink drawing and haven’t really considered other options. I’ve tried traditional watercolor brushes in the past, but they have always felt too stiff for what I’m trying to achieve. Recently I’ve become more obsessed with surface and the paper that I’m using. The experience of making the walnut ink drawings in the Waiting Series really woke me up to how influential the paper surface can be to the outcome of the marks one is able to make with ink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s