Friday, March 18, 2016

Marbling Suminagashi Style

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

During a two day book making class I sewed four Japanese bindings, marbled many sheets of rice paper and made a wraparound red cloth case with bone clasps holding it all together.

We worked on a paper marbling technique known as Suminagashi. With two Sumi ink sticks, vermilion and black, I rubbed the Sumi sticks on a grinding stone in a small amount of distilled water. I used bamboo brushes to drop the ink in the water. Sumi ink is also used with Asian calligraphy. 

This week I marbled with an updated Suminagashi technique, using paint I bought from Dick Blick, called Boku-Undo which comes with instructions.

In my garage: one inch deep cookie tray, 12 x 18 inches, water filled, six colors of paint, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and black, I was ready! Dripping in four colors for each sheet of paper, swirled water colors around with a bamboo brush; cleaning out paint, after each page was completed, with a horizontal tear of newspaper sliding along the surface of water.

This is one of my favorite papers: I used Yasutomo Japanese Rice Paper, also found at Dick Blick. Marbling on the fuzzy side of the Rice Paper allows the Boku Undo or Sumi Ink to stick to the paper.

Back to the workshop: we accomplished so much in two days! We sewed these four Japanese bindings: Kikko Toji (Turtle Shell Binding - my favorite); Asa-no-ha Toji (Hemp Leaf Binding); Koki Toji or Kangxi (Noble Binding) which is a 6 hole binding; and Yotsumi Toji (Four Eye).

Hemp Leaf
Turtle Shell
Noble Binding
Four Eye

Unfortunately, when I took the workshop my bindings were not sewn tight enough.

A more recent Turtle Shell Binding has a tighter sewing tension with attached beads. Guess you know I like red covers! And this book made a nice gift. If you have any questions - please let me know in the Comments section.


  1. GORGEOUS!! I wish we were near each other to play! Always wanted to try it!

    1. Thanks Sandee! Once you get through the setting up part, it is easier than it looks.

  2. Anne, your red wraparound case is stunning. The talent you demonstrate amazes me. Beautiful work.

  3. Thanks so much Leigh! I appreciate your comment very much!