Suminagashi Marbled Handmade Journal

Suminagashi black and whtie Journal handmade by Ruth Bleakley

Suminagashi is a gorgeous type of paper marbling invented in Japan over 1,000 years ago. I wrote a post a while ago when I taught a suminagashi marbling class at Clark University and you can see every step of the process. Basically you float rings of black sumi ink (I really like using this Yasutomo brand sumi ink) on water with calligraphy brushes (this sumi brush set would¬†work well), alternating with “white” rings of water mixed with dispersant – the “white” is actually just the color of the paper underneath. The woodgrain effect comes from the rings pushing closer and closer together and thinning out. Then you lay a piece of paper on top and pull the print! Each session of suminagashi yields just one print, so they’re all one of a kind.

I sewed this journal with a type of binding called chain stitch or coptic stitch. I’ve been doing this type of binding the most because I like that you can make the covers completely separately from the inner pages and just hold on them until you’re ready to sew them onto the filler pages with waxed linen thread.


Suminagashi marbling on yuzen by Ruth Bleakley marbled black and white book handmade by Ruth Bleakley Closeup of stitching on suminagashi journal handmade by Ruth Bleakley
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