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Ink Stick Grades

There are seven grades in Chinese ink stick. The grade is usually stamped on the body of an ink stick either in its traditional name or in numbers. The numbering system has been in use since 1965 during Chinese Cultural Revolution, when the names were done away with for they implicated old culture.

gr # Name Pigment Glue Additives
101
102
103
104
Gloss
Tribute 1
Tribute 2
Stovepipe end
tungoil soot gelatin musk, gold, borneol, pearl, rhinoceros horn
105 Pine-soot pine soot gelatin rose-water
106
107
General use 1
General use 2
carbon bone none

  • The virtue of the oil-soot ink stick is that it produces subtle graduation of shade while the strokes remain clearly defined. The pine-soot ink stick gives unglossy brushwork and is commonly used for achieving absorbent textures. The carbon pigment inksticks tend to blot on unsized rice paper or silk if is used for tonal effect.

Ink stick

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