Recently, I bought my first higher quality inksticks and since they are so wonderful to use, I immediately decided that it would be a wise decision to build for the future and stash some extra inksticks away for aging. As a relative novice to Chinese painting I am not sure about the best way to store them, though.
I know the basics: to keep them in their wooden box and to store them in a dry and shaded place. But how about the plastic wrapper that encloses the inkstick inside the box. Should that be left on or taken off? And do inksticks benefit from an annual airing, like paper does? Also, I read that inksticks are finished with a thin protective layer of glue, so would it be harmful to try them out before long-term storage, as it would remove that layer from one end?
I would be grateful to anyone who could offer more information on the subject.