Suminagashi translates to “floating ink,” and is a method of Japanese paper marbling. I was introduced to this technique in Fall of 2014 and have since been drawn back to it for its simplicity and unexpected effects. I am including this category here because I have found material on suminagashi to be relatively rare online (at least in English), to the point that I find people being directed to my blog for information–!
While I never really intended to be a reference for suminagashi, I have found it relatively fulfilling. It’s incredibly difficult to control, which is a reason I have found myself cringing at witnessing Art students crumple up and throw away their prints when they don’t come out as intended. I believe the reason I was introduced to this method of paper marbling in the first place was as an exercise in letting go of control.
Because of the process’s partnering with chaos (via being subject to every movement of the underlying water), every print is unique…even those that get thrown away.
And then we move on into the, “letting go of the precious,” lesson…