- Saiboku Aya Ink Stick, Bellflower #72
Saiboku Aya Ink Stick, Bellflower #72
We're happy to introduce Saiboku Aya, a unique line of artist colors handmade by Japanese artisans. They work like traditional sumi ink: put a small amount of water on an ink stone, then rub the stick in small, mindful circles in the water. The ink stick will gradually turn the water into concentrated ink, which you can use for painting, drawing, and calligraphy, typically with an ink or watercolor brush.
In the past, sumi ink has mainly been available in black only (in fact, sumi actually means "black ink.") But the same type of ink stick can be made with any color pigment. Saiboku Aya are a modern, artist-grade line of ink sticks in eighteen colors that can be mixed, layered, and diluted for a wide range of tones across the whole color spectrum.
The Saiboku Aya color range was selected under the supervision of Dr. Kei Iwaizumi, who teaches at Kyoto University of the Arts. These selections represent some of the most important traditional colors of Japan, but they are made with modern pigments so that they can be more permanent, affordable, and readily available.
Boku-Undo, the manufacturer of Saiboku Aya, employs skilled craftspeople who mix and mold these ink sticks by hand. You'll notice they vary slightly in size and bear the subtle marks of the hands that shaped them. They are molded with a beautiful pattern, an arrangement of four petals called hanabishi, a staple of Japanese folk art.
Use Saiboku Aya for watercolor painting (as shown in our photos), Sumi-E painting, ink drawings, calligraphic lettering, and anything else you can do with a brush. The colors are intense and versatile, and can go from saturated and opaque to light and translucent depending on the specific color and the amount of water used for mixing.
Each Saiboku Aya stick measures around 66 x 34 mm (2.6" x 1.3"). They come in a paper box for safe storage. Please note the manufacturer's safety and storage instructions, available here and enclosed with each order.
We recommend a Boku-Undo porcelain ink stone for use with Saiboku Aya. You can also use the larger, less expensive black stones, but the white stones make it much easier to see the color of the ink you're mixing.
We ship all orders from our store in St. Louis, Missouri. 95% of orders are processed in 1-2 business days (Wednesday through Sunday). Shipping to the United States is always free for orders over $59. For orders under $59, domestic shipping rates start at $3.50. You can calculate your shipping cost in the cart or at checkout. For St. Louis residents, we also offer free curbside pickup. Just select "Pick Up" on the first page of checkout.
If there's a problem with your order, please contact our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your order is damaged or defective, we will send you a prepaid return label and replace the item immediately. If you change your mind about an order, you can ship it back to us in new condition for a refund or exchange. However, if there is no error on our part, we cannot refund shipping charges or pay for return shipping. The deadline for all returns is 30 days from the delivery date. All clearance items, including our famous Mystery Box, are final sale.
We are an independent retailer trusted by artists since 2015, and our expert staff are happy to help you with any questions you might have about our products and services. We love helping our customers choose colors, build gift packages for friends, and get started with new tools and materials. We can also take special orders for items not listed on this site.
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