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Saiboku Aya Ink Sticks, Toolbox Set with Accessories

List Price: $158.00

Our Price: $129.00

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About This Product

This set of Saiboku Aya colored ink sticks comes with everything you need to get started, plus a Toyo T-190 Mini Toolbox to keep everything safe and dust-free between sessions. We've included four Saiboku Aya colors that are perfect for mixing, layering, and glazing: Kariyasu (a cool, greenish yellow), Peony (bright magenta), Azurite (warm ultramarine blue), and Indigo (very deep cool blue.)

Also included are two porcelain ink stones that stack inside your toolbox, so you can easily grind and mix different proportions of two colors. Wipe out the inkstone with a wet cloth and you can use it with a new color.

The Boku-Undo Bellows Dropper is included to dispense controlled amounts of water for grinding ink—remember, never grind your ink sticks without water!

A Raphael Softaqua travel brush with quill mop tip, handmade by skilled brushmakers and fitted with a bronze-hued metal cap, makes a lovely tool for applying Saiboku Aya. When you're finished, you can snap the brush shut and store it in the toolbox without damage.

It all fits, with room for a couple more colors, inside a Matcha Green Toyo T-190 toolbox. Deep-drawn from single sheets of steel, Toyo T-190 toolboxes are essentially indestructible and immaculately designed. It's a fitting home for your new inks and stones.

All items made in Japan except the travel brush, which is made by Raphael in Mauritius. Only the items shown in the first photo are included—this is a nine-piece set including the toolbox, brush, bottle, 2 ink stones, and 4 ink colors.

About Saiboku Aya Ink Sticks:

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 colorful ink sketches, Sumi-E paintings, architecture drawing, calligraphic lettering, and anything else you can do with a brush or dip pen. 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.