About Inkston – Our Story

Inkston.com is a leading supplier of high quality traditional oriental art materials and information from China. As well as materials we provide informative articles and an active artists community site, with something of interest for everyone.

Art Materials

Inkston provides best traditional Chinese handmade art materials from top historical workshops most previously not available on the internet, such as Old Hu Kai Wen 老胡开文 inksticks, Jiang Si Xu Tang 姜思序堂 colours, as well as the premium Red Star 红星 papers and brushes and top and award winning Seal artists.

Additionally Inkston has partnered with traditional workshops and craftspeople in rural china to bring you unique products under the Inkston brand, a great value alternative to the famous and premium brands. These range from Xuan papers from traditional workshops in the Xuan paper villages, traditional hand-made brushes, hand-carved Sheyan inkstones from Anhui, and hand-made ceramic accessories from young ceramic artists and designers in JingDeZhen.

Information and Galleries

Browse the stories section for Art galleries, information guides, articles and stories.


On the community site you can:

  • Create a free artist/studio directory listing page to promote your own work. Each page includes a secure spam-protected contact form and an image gallery: have a look at what other artists have uploaded
  • Join in the forums: feel free to ask any art-related question or add your comments, there is a wide audience of artists and art-lovers who can answer most questions and lots of useful advice.  Participation is also now linked to our rewards scheme, so there are now gifts and prizes just for asking and answering questions.
  • We also have an active Facebook group for all lovers of Sumie / Chinese painting.

Our customers often ask where they can find teachers and artists locally in their own country, so we are very happy to help promote your work as part of our service.

Philosophy and Background

inkston.com was founded by Luo Yan in 2016 to help preserve the best traditional craftsmanship from China and make it available to the world.  Inkston aims to be the best online resource for oriental art information and handmade art materials at fair prices direct from rural workshops in China.

Traditional craftsmanship continues in a precarious state of survival:

  • in the last five years, over 70-80% of Xuan Paper workshops have closed down due to the fierce competition from modern paper.  Xuan Paper is eco-friendly, sustainable, and recyclable and due to the unique materials and production methods it has characteristics that cannot be replicated by modern industry.
  • sadly, the silversmiths we selected from the Qiang villages have already closed their workshops.  Unfortunately the labour-intensive hand-carving can’t compete with modern mould-produced products, and there were no young apprentices taking on such labour intensive and poorly paid work.

At the same time the quality of information available outside china is extremely limited:

  • the market is flooded with cheap mass-produced and sometimes fake products,
  • there is almost no information available in other languages, and even the English language resources normally only give a light overview of the subject.

We had a number of other problems to solve too:  traditional chinese workshops also don’t produce product photographs or packaging or product information which is acceptable to Western standards or readily survivable for international shipping.

By improving the information and range and quality of products available, we are making our contribution to the growing interest in Oriental culture.

As the interest and the market grows, it will become easier for art lovers to find materials and teachers and for studios to find customers and students, and easier too for the traditional workshops to survive, now that more people can find and enjoy their products.


Inkston.com is run by INKSTON (Shanghai) trading Co., Ltd incorporated in China as
registration number: 91310115MA1K3G0X7H,
registered address: Room 368, Section 302, No. 211 Fu Te North Road, Free Trade Zone, Shanghai, China.

See also the Terms and Conditions page.

31 thoughts on “About Inkston – Our Story

  1. I think the tips and lessons that the Inkston website offers is very helpful to students worldwide.

  2. 5 stars. Excellent presentation and delivery. Very pleased.

  3. excellent service! every time i have a question, inkston goes out of their way to help. great selection of supplies and an amazing source of information for painting.

  4. Order received quickly and well packed. Good product, good service, thanks.

  5. Bonjour
    Je peux pas dire excellent service, ni produit car je suis tjs en attente de mes produits…. perdu dans la nature 10 jours de retard sur le temps estimé, je suis en attente de nouvelle. Merci de m’en donner.

    1. Nous sommes désolés pour ce désagrément. Nous avons récemment mis à jour notre service d’expédition en France. La plupart des colis vers la France sont envoyés via Luxembourg. Par conséquent, lorsque vous suivez votre colis, vous avez vu votre statut de colis au Luxembourg. Nous avons également remarqué qu’il y a un retard sur votre colis. Nous sommes vraiment désolé pour cela. Nous avons d’urgence contacté notre compagnie d’expédition pour la raison déjà et j’espère que ce problème de retard peut être résolu bientôt.

      J’espère que le colis arrivera d’ici dimanche. Je vais continuer à le suivre jusqu’à ce que vous le receviez. Et nous espérons vraiment que ce retard n’affecte pas la qualité de nos produits. J’espère que vous avez toujours des produits satisfaisants.

      En même temps, nous vous remettrons un coupon pour compenser ce retard important.

      Merci beaucoup pour votre patience!

  6. I recently purchased a copy of the Mustard Seed Garden, translated into English. It is a wonderful resource that I am finding to be very useful. Also, I wanted to comment on the Inkston newsletter. I think this is a great resource for artist who are new to Chinese Ink painting like me. I especially like that you have included material lists and links to valuable information. Your training guides are great.
    I’ll let you know if I have any specific questions that I need help with.

    Also, your forum page is very helpful.

  7. Hi, all my good Chinese Brush Painter friends I would like to tell you a little about a great company to buy your supplies from, the company I am talking about is http://www.Inkston Co in China being a Chinese Brush Painter my self from New Jersey, USA I can trust in their products that they sell they have a great web page with lots of articles that you can learn different things in, Yan Luo is a great person to talk to she will answer any of your questions about there products. I personally use a lot of there Xuan papers, they have a lot to choose from at top quality products also their shipping is top Quality how they ship you will be surprised how they ship oh one thing I also bought some of there brushes again they are very masterly made you will enjoy painting with them Remember its very important to deal with a company that you can trust give them a try and you will see what I mean thank you for looking at this little story everybody have a great painting day

  8. Absolutely delighted with the service and products… thankyou

  9. I have been very satisfied with the issue of my commend to your shop!Thank
    You for your politeness, preciseness and help! I am sure that I will come back to your shop in the future. Best regards

  10. The only slight problem that I have had………..The package containing the paper had obviously been handled quite roughly and one end of the roll of Expert Calligraphy paper was crushed. The paper is not torn, just quite badly creased for a few inches at one end of the roll. Once the individual sheets were removed from the roll……. a light spray with water and the use of a warm iron solved the problem.
    Slightly tedious but not a serious problem. .

    Both of the orders were very well packed and I’m not sure how you could protect the paper any better without increasing the international shipping costs to a point where customers would complain. In the future I may order ’10 full sheets in a tube’ rather than the 25xhalf sheets – the extra shipping cost is probably worth paying if the paper arrives in pristine condition.

  11. I was excited. The communication was above-standard. I have really never met such helpful and nice people during shopping on the internet. I have all answers within a few hours (even if there is a very big time difference between China and Czech Republic)

  12. Thank you again for great products and service. The prior order was very happily received. If I get the Chinese expression correct, my friends now are 与时俱进.

    Happy Holidays to you.

  13. I ordered some brushes from the online shop and I was delighted to receive a carefully wrapped parcel including
    xuan paper for my students. Everything is excellent quality and above my expectations. I will surely recommend the online shop to my friends.

  14. Good products, super friendly service !

  15. Opening the parcel to ‘look for’ the products makes me very happy! I am like a little girl receiving Christmas gift!

  16. Quick delivery, high quality

  17. Fantastic service, communication, products and website. Yan has really created a dedicated service to people wishing to understand and pursue Chinese Calligraphy and Painting. I LOVE this store. A+++++

  18. Amazing company!! I’ve never had such a great experience with customer service. Lucy and Yan were so thoughtful and helpful, they went above and beyond to help me find exactly what I needed for my Gongbi painting pursuits and even recommended I purchase some of the items for sizing in the US as it would be less expensive locally. They really care about the art and want to make sure you get the right supplies and direction.
    I am so grateful to have found Inkston, they’re a wonderful company who cares about about their products and are incredibly knowledgable about the traditions and techniques of chinese art and calligraphy. Many thanks!!!

  19. The service is fabulous. Yan makes it her duty to satisfy you and the products are of the finest quality.

  20. Arrived sooner then expected. Beautiful little piece.

  21. The seller is professional and courteous, very attentive to the client. He added a nice gift to my order. His products are the best of contemporary Chinese production, re-imagining in the modern context the spirit of traditional art. I will come again. Thank you. Daniele.

  22. Excellent service — I had a query, and I received a response very quickly, and my order arrived much earlier than I expected. One of my colleagues who saw me open the package noted that the seller took so much care in packing the items, and I agree. And of course the items I received (brushes and ink) were all wonderful.

  23. Hello,
    I tried to pass an order with credit card payment. unfortunately this was unsuccessful due a failure I do not know why. This is the order N°30420, could you please tell me what can be the solution.
    Thank you for your appreciated feedback

  24. Je suis étonnée que tout le monde soit ravi du service. L’an passé ma commande a mis 6 mois pour arriver (COVID oblige), mais elle a fini par arriver et il y avait tout ce que j’avais commandé. Cette année j’ai commandé des sceaux et des papiers. Les sceaux sont bien arrivés mais pas de papier. Ma commande date du 31/12 et depuis c’est silence radio de la part d’INKSTON, malgré 2 mails. Il y a quelques semaines j’avais eu des informations contradictoires de la part de YAN, d’abord que le papier avait été expédié puis ensuite qu’en fait il n’était pas disponible et qu’il fallait que j’en choisisse d’autres, ce que j’ai fait. Et depuis, rien . Pas de nouvelles. Je trouve que cela n’est pas très sérieux.

    1. Je suis vraiment désolé pour ce problème car nous avons eu un problème en raison de la pandémie d’expédition. Actuellement, nous avons commencé à utiliser de nouveaux services d’expédition et tous les produits sont de nouveau en stock. J’ai examiné votre colis et je vous envoie également un e-mail aujourd’hui.

  25. Hello! I’m looking for paper that will work well using a fountain pen, that can be used for clean lines, and will keep the contents of my writings/drawings intact over the long-term. My questions are:

    Will the triple xuan paper work well with a fountain pen?
    Also, is the triple xuan paper archival or acid-free?

    Kindest Regards,

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