Suminagashi at Huskiana Press

Hi all! We’ve been pretty quiet, blog-wise, lately, but very busy at the press, even in pandemic mode. We’ve had a lot of individual visitors come by to try composing and printing for special projects. We’ve had a few class visits and we’re supporting a directed study this semester.

We’ve been thinking about expanding book arts offerings at the press. One neat thing we tried recently was suminagashi. Suminagashi is the Japanese art of ink marbling and it’s a great way to make decorative papers. There are several examples up in the cabinet outside the press at the moment. We’re thinking about doing a pop-up event where people could marble paper. We also overmarbled some letterpress waste we had been trying to figure out how to reuse.

Suminagashi is created by floating ink on a water suspension. Different colored sumi inks or sumi inks and a surfactant are alternated in concentric rings to create stripes, then gently disrupted with a fan or with one’s breath. There are several examples of this technique posted in the cabinet outside the press suite at the moment. We’re thinking about hosting a suminagashi pop-up event so that more folks can try marbling paper! What do you think?

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