The Relaxing Art of Japanese Paper Marbling


Paper artisan Tadao Fukuda creates beautifully marbled papers by hand. The art is called suminagashi in Japanese and involves layering swirled ink on top of water. Once the preferred design is set, paper is placed on top to capture the design. 

Fukuda, now in his eighties, still enjoys his work. He uses two paintbrushes: One is dipped in colored ink mixed with pine resin, and the other is dipped in pine resin alone. Both brushes are dipped into the vat of water, one at a time, to create circles on the water. A fan or light breath moves the ink around to create unique patterns.