It’s a rainy afternoon, my daughter pulls out her Suminagshi ink kit and foil tray. She fills the tray with water, sets up a palette of inks and the magic is set to begin. She repeatedly dips a paintbrush in ink and gently touches the water surface. Colors swirl across the water creating fascinating patterns. She places paper on the water and gently peels print after print. The entire process is meditative. I watch, excited to see what prints will emerge on the paper. Soon our kitchen island is blanketed by rectangles of swirling abstract patterns.
Suminagashi is essentially printing marbled paper using Japanese oil based inks. Quick set up, and easily sourced supplies makes this is a perfect craft for all ages. Over the years my daughter has printed stacks of gorgeous patterned paper. She then fashions these into thank-you cards, birthday cards, note paper and gift tags.
For the past 9 weeks, we have been in lockdown mode due to the Covid Pandemic. Our community has been sending care packages to healthcare workers pulling 18 hour shifts at our two community hospitals. My daughter seized the opportunity to hand dye note paper using her trusty suminagashi inks. In an anxious time, it was especially calming to return to a familiar craft. My daughter handcrafted origami cranes and glued them on each printed note card. She hoped the love and care she took into crafting the notes would communicate the deep admiration we have for our brave healthcare workers.