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Ink Stones: Where Tradition Meets Modernity

Ink Stones: Where Tradition Meets Modernity

Posted by Sarah @ PIA on May 13th 2024

Discover the timeless allure of ink stones – a cherished practice dating back over 7000 years. Originating as a mortar for grinding ink, these stones have transcended into essential tools for modern calligraphers and artists seeking to infuse their work with a touch of tradition. Crafted with care and adorned with symbolic elegance, ink stones serve as both a grinding surface and reservoir for ink. Explore our curated selection of ink sticks and stones, meticulously sourced from artisans around the globe, and embark on a journey to elevate your calligraphy and artmaking practices. It's more than just ink – it's a beautiful way to bridge the gap between ancient techniques and modern creativity.

Yasutomo Suzuri Stone Sumi Set

Sumi-E Essentials

Begin your journey into sumi-e with this exquisite set from Yasutomo. Perfect for both beginners and seasoned artists, each kit features two sumi brushes – one larger, one smaller – alongside a sumi ink stick and Suzuki stone for authentic ink grinding. Includes an instructional sheet offering step-by-step guidance on ink preparation and creating a timeless sumi bamboo painting. Plus, scan the QR code for easy access to video tutorials.

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Professional Grade Sumi Ink Stick, Black

Ink Legacy

This professional-grade ink stick produces deep blacks and subtle grays for flawless calligraphy. Designed for pointed pen, broad pen, and brush work, it's the perfect companion for any project that demands high-quality ink. For optimal results, pair with a stone and grind small batches for fresh ink every time. Packaged in a stunning green and gold case and adorned with intricate silver and deep blue accents, it's a true testament to the beauty of traditional craftsmanship.

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Boko-Undo Saiboku Aya Ink Sticks

Calligraphy in Color

These unique ink sticks are unlike any art supply you’ve used before! Made with vividly saturated high-quality organic pigments and a gelatin binder, Saiboku Aya ink sticks give you the experience of traditional sumi ink sticks with a gorgeous pop of color. Handmade by skilled craftsmen in Japan, each Saiboku ink stick varies slightly in size and bears the subtle marks of the hands that created them. Molded with a beautiful pattern of four petals called hanabishi, a motif similar to a family crest.

Fine-grained colors can be layered without becoming muddy, and can be used for sumi, ink, and watercolor painting as well as broad edge and pointed pen calligraphy. Click here to see these ink sticks in action.

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Boku-Undo Suzuri Ink Stone And Grinding Dish, White

Grind Away

But what should you pair with your Saiboku ink sticks? Crafted by Boku-Undo, these elegant white porcelain ink stones offer clarity as you grind, ensuring your colors are just right. Simply add water to the well and circle your ink stick until you achieve your desired consistency. Great for use with both metallic and colored ink sticks, it's a must-have to unlock the full potential of your sumi-e artwork.

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Yamato-E Ink Stick, Set Of 6 With Box


Introducing Yamato-e: specialty ink sticks with a twist! Crafted in leaf shapes, each stick offers traditional sumi ink infused with a hint of color magic. Choose from Blue, Brown, Green, Purple, Red, or Yellow for a unique touch to your creations. Can't pick just one? Treat yourself to the ultimate indulgence with our boxed set featuring all six stunning hues nestled in a wooden gift box.

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Boku-Undo Ink Stick, Metallic

Sumi Sparkle

Add a shimmery touch to your sumi-e paintings with these metallic ink sticks, perfect for adding a touch of glamour to your creations. While these metallic colors separate more easily, just stir frequently for seamless results. For added stability, consider adding gum arabic as a binder. Remember to let your ink sticks dry completely to prevent cracking. Available in captivating copper, radiant gold, and gleaming silver, it's time to infuse your art with a touch of metallic magic.

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Boku-Undo Shakyo-Ken Ink Stone

Calling All Calligraphers

This high-quality Japanese ink stone features a flat surface for grinding sumi ink sticks, and a deep well to collect the ink. The deep well is ideal for dipping nibs, making this ink stone the best choice for pointed pen or broad edge calligraphy! Made of stone with a very dense grain, the Shakyo-Ken Ink Stone is designed for precision and practicality.

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Ink Stick + Stone Gift Set, White/Red

Ink Stick + Stone Gift Sets

New and Noteworthy

These sets makes a lovely gift for anyone wishing to learn the classic art of sumi-e! The newest addition to our ink stick/stone collection, each kit contains one collapsible sumi brush, a sumi ink stick, and a white Suzuki stone for grinding ink in the traditional method. Ink stone has a lovely pattern along its side, and all items are packaged in a gorgeous wooden gift box with coordinating details. Which color will you choose?

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