Ink may give a somewhat singular impression, but it is an essential item in ancient writing. With the help of this material, the fantastic and wonderful artistic conception of Chinese calligraphy and painting can be realized. The world of ink is not dull, but rich in content. As a consumable, ink that can be presented intact as before should be very precious.
Before the invention of artificial ink making, natural ink or semi natural ink was generally used as writing materials. The invention of ink was probably later than that of the pen. The prehistoric decorative patterns of painted pottery, oracle bone inscriptions from the Shang and Zhou dynasties, bamboo and wooden slips, and silk calligraphy and paintings have left traces of primitive ink use. According to literature records, ancient Chinese ink punishment (tsingmian), ink rope (used in carpentry), and ink turtle (divination) were also used in ink. After this long journey, until the Han Dynasty, artificial ink products finally began to appear.
From making cigarette materials to completing the production, there are multiple processes such as glue injection, mixing, and steaming, as well as a molding process. The carving of ink molds is an important process and an artistic creative process. The shapes of ink are generally square, rectangular, round, elliptical, irregular, and so on. Ink molds are generally composed of six parts: front, back, top, bottom, left, and right, while circular or idol shaped ink molds only need to be composed of four or two plates. Built-in ink agent, tightly hammer the finished product. The style is mostly engraved on the side for easy replacement when reusing ink molds. There are various forms of ink on the surface, which can be divided into natural color ink, lacquer clothing ink, gold wash ink, and lacquer edge ink.
The use of ink in Chinese painting is also very particular. Ink is divided into two types: "oil fume" and "pine smoke". Oil fume ink is made by processing with tung oil or added burning smoke; Songyan ink is made by burning pine branches with tobacco. The characteristic of lampblack ink is its black and shiny color, while the characteristic of pine ink is its dark color and lack of luster. Chinese painting generally uses lampblack, and only colored paintings occasionally use pine smoke. But in expressing certain matte objects such as ink butterflies, black velvet, etc., it is also easy to use pine smoke.
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