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interesting post – I have not sized my own paper but with the problem of ink bleed there are other ways to tackle that. If you are using bottled ink try mixing with fresh ground ink or use just ground ink and make it nicely thick but don’t get it too gluey or it will cause more problems than it solves. Depending on the exact type of Xuan paper you could also try a good quality bottled ink made for Xuan. For example Red Star ink works fantastically well with Red Star Xuan. Might be less hassle than sizing your paper?
good luck whichever way you follow. Peace.
<span style=”font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;”>hi there,</span>
great idea to do some calligraphy scrolls – also a traditional art particularly by women in the centuries when they were restricted in the arts and calligraphy.
you could write anything that inspires you but I like the Zen Buddhist phrases found in Japanese tea rooms or the simplicity of Haiku poetry. Basho is a beautiful place to start. My interest is in Japanese Zen Buddhism so not so familiar with the Chinese tradition but you would be using the same characters if you practice Kanji calligraphy. For help with character stroke order and variation try “Shodo – the art of Zen Calligraphy “ or for inspiration “100 leaves” in parallel translation if your not a Japanese/Chinese speaker.
excellent project whichever way you go. Let the flow take you!
Good luck and many enjoyable hours of ink, brush and paper!
Gosh, your paste looks too oily! maybe spread it out in the container until it has flat surface and then dry it out a bit. I know this is opposite to all other responses but I think the problem is your paste is too wet. I could be wrong of course but it doesn’t look like paste I normally get. ?
Hi there, I have been carving my own seals for a few years now and as you say it is really easy to make a mistake – whoops! slipped with the blade. Then you want to erase the pattern and start again. Depending how hard your seal stone is or how expensive, I usually remove the pattern with a small pin file. These are sold in the UK in sets of 10/12, made of carbon steel and come in all shapes and fine to course grades – all in the same set. Not expensive, easy to use and saves a lot of time, money and stones for beginners.
By the way, do not be afraid to start carving seals – it is fun and although difficult to do well, you can still get a very useable result even as a beginner and the seals really enhance your paintings/calligraphy. Also don’t start with anything too complicated. One character, nicely carved looks much better than a complicated copy of an old master carved badly or with a clumsy hand. A wooden seal vice/block is ESSENTIAL! It makes carving much easier and is a small expense when you consider the cost of good seal stones.
Carve your own designs – make your own special name seal and above all- HAVE FUN.