U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: spot tone

Re: spot tone

Japanese calligraphy is something everyone in Japan learns in elementary
school and middle school, like French and Germans do calligraphy with
fountain pens. Anyway, the quality of black that can be made with
bottled ink, and that made by grinding ink stick on stone for many
minutes vary, so I used to use bottled ink for practice but grind my ink
for the final work. But these days the quality of high end bottled inks
are not bad at all... and grinding ink is probably more a matter of
spiritual exercise.

I don't know about the Chinese variety but the carbon pigment is
generally obtained from soot of combustion, either vegetable oil
(rapeseed oil) or pine chips. The rapeseed oil soot makes neutral black
with good Dmax and gloss. The pine soot varies from cold black to
neutral black. Anyway, I agree that these inks are probably very usable
as spotting material, as they are a high quality carbon pigment ink in
hide glue as the binder. Bottled (liquid) inks contain a small amount of
fungicide to preserve the hide glue.


On Wed, 15 Nov 2006 21:00:09 -0500, "Thom Mitchell"
<tjmitch@ix.netcom.com> said:
> Something worth trying may be to get an ink stick and ink stone of the
> type used for Chinese calligraphy and try grinding your own ink combined
> with water. I'm learning Chinese calligraphy and found my first attempts
> at making my ink difficult to say the least, but the amazing thing was my
> results on paper bore a very strong resemblance to spot tone, especially
> at various dilutions and reconstitutions. You can find the ink sticks and
> stones in any china town or on line I'm sure. Good luck. -thom
> Ryuji Suzuki wrote:
> On Wed, 15 Nov 2006 21:24:47 +0000, "Liam Lawless"
> [1]<lawless@bulldoghome.com> said:
> Try watercolour pigments, with water and a drop of gum arabic to help it
> take.  A mixture of Winsor & Newton ivory black and raw umber can
> approximate Spotone No. 3.
> Or india ink, also in gum arabic.
> References
> 1. mailto:lawless@bulldoghome.com