Friday, October 26, 2012

{art lab} japanese paper marbling



A recently mini obsession around here has been suminagashi, or Japanese marbling. 

I originally organized to do this with some friends, but knew my kids would love it too. We had done the shaving cream and paint marbling in the past, but this is even more fun!



Basically, what you are doing is putting drops of ink onto the surface of the water and then manipulating it by pulling a toothpick through, blowing on it or gently tapping the tub.

After you have a design you like, you set your paper onto the surface of the water and like magic all the dye is transferred. 


I bought the ink online(link below) and a stack of dish tubs from the dollar store. I also ordered some special rice paper but as it did not arrive in time, we used plain old computer paper and it worked perfectly (watercolor paper and card stock were NOT good paper options). 


Kids are amazing at this! In fact, I think I liked my kids' designs even more than my friends' designs (shhh!). They were so unrestrained with color and really swirled the water around. My 6 year old was so good he even gave his Grandma a lessons while she babysat him. 



So, what to do with all this paper? We have been making it into little books and journals, doing origami, covering the inside flap of books, making paper garlands, writing letters on it and more. 

Just having a stack of it available in your art area is wonderful. 

And this would be a perfect gift for any art minded kid! 


Have you suminagashi-ed before?


This is the kit I used and I was very happy with it. We marbled well over a hundred sheets and I still have tons of ink left!

17 comments:

  1. I want to do that sometime. It's been on my list of crafts FOREVER!

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    1. mine too! it is about a million times easier than you can imagine - just order the ink, get a tub and some paper. we did not have one single bad result - they are all amazing!

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  2. What sort of ink did you use? Would acrylic ink work?

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    1. you need to use an oil based ink like the one i linked too. alternatively, you can use shaving cream and acrylic paint for another method.

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  3. definitely on the going to try list. looks like fun and i love the things you are doing with the paper afterward. we really like origami here and making our own paper for it would be a blast!

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    1. the origami is really beautiful with this paper!

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  4. How long does it take the paper to dry? Trying to figure out if I can get the project done during an hour long girl scout meeting and dry enough to take home. Thanks in advance!

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    1. it dries quickly, just put it between some newspaper to soak up the excess for a few minutes and then we hung ours on a clothes rack - but it was really dry to the touch after the newspaper. this would be so fun for a girl scout troop!

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  5. Love this! I am definitely trying this craft with my boys! We are always looking for creative multicultural craft ideas. Thank you for sharing. I'm pinning it, as well!

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  6. Oh I remember doing this as a child!

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  8. oooh, looks so cool! Some of the pics weren't displaying for me :( but the ones I saw looked fabulous! So Fun!

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  9. Yay! Suminagashi! We love it too. This is the same kit we buy hear in Japan so it's the real deal! One thing we've found is it's important to use paper that doesn't have sizing in it so the colors are more vibrant. It's fun to do things like envelopes and paper ornaments too!

    This definitely is the perfect kid present. We have given it a few times and everyone has truly enjoyed it.

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  10. We have not does this before...but it looks oh so cool! Will be adding it to the idea list for our crafty kids!

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  11. Is your third photo one of an actual piece of completed paper? Does it end up kind of wrinkly? Really pretty; looks like a fun art idea for older kids (i.e. grade schoolers), for sure!!! :)

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    1. The 3rd picture is the surface of the water. We hang the paper on a drying rack and then smooth it out. It is not too wrinkly at all. Rice paper works the best - but I also use typing paper.

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