For more than a thousand years, the method of making Sumi sticks has remained the same. Soot from pine or certain vegetable oils mixed with animal or fish glue is molded and dried to form a well-shaped solid block which, when ground on a Suzuri stone with water, turns to ink. It is unsurpassed for producing the famous Five Colors, or shades of black, that form the basis of monochromatic Sumi painting. The subtlety of Sumi ink is evident in the variety of tones and values it produces.
The Suzuri is a flat grinding stone used to make Sumi ink. It has a sloping indentation which forms a small well at one end. A Sumi ink stick is ground on the stone surface with plain water to produce liquid ink.
To avoid unevenness, indentations and grooves, grind the ink over the entire surface of the stone. Never leave the ink stick on the wet stone surface: it will adhere and damage the stone's surface. Wash the stone in plain water after each use. To preserve the surface of the stone, it is recommended that you wash the stone with your fingers.
This Sumi set contains 2 brushes, Sumi ink stick, and Suzuri stone.