Sumi ink has been made in the traditional fashion - from burnt wood - for more than 3,000 years. Asian artisans process the wood residue from burnt wood into solid sticks of ink in the same manner today - just a bit more quickly with modern equipment.
The pine soot from pine or vegetable oils is mixed with animal or fish glue. The glue insures that the ink can be molded. It is then dried to form a well-shaped solid block which. To use the ink, it must be ground into a stone - and water added to it (usually with a Water Dropper).
Nothing is more special for creating the many subtle shades of black and grey, that characterizes traditional Sumi painting.
Even if you're not a Sumi artist, you might not be able to resist - this makes a perfect embellishment for a special Asian assemblage or collage. Each stick has the same characters on the back and features different flowers on the front.
We're showing 3 sticks for comparison. The box is just lovely and might be used for a small shrine or other altered art project.
The box measures 4-1/4 inches by 1-1/4 inch by 1/2 inch deep. The wrapped stick is slightly smaller at 3-13/16 inches long by 15/16 inch wide by 6/16 inch deep.