How to Grind Ink Effectively for Practicing Chinese Calligraphy (part 1)

T11his capability to pass on concepts to us throughout generations, offer directions to express, interact suggestions throughout the abyss of area as well as time has made it feasible to make great strides in our understanding of the world, mutual understanding as well as self-understanding.

To understand how writing began, we must go to ancient Sumer, where writing first began to be used extensively. Take a look around. What do you see? Yes, you see merchants and potters.

You see the streets and yards. What do you see towering over it all? Temples. These holy places play a huge duty in why composing started. Due to the fact that Sumer was the country of the first real cities worldwide.

Not hundreds of people or thousands of people, but together tens of thousands. And as cities grew, so did the temples for the gods.

These massive, vast temple complexes they did not serve only as tabernacles.

No, take a better look. Do you see those men bringing containers filled with grain right here? These holy places likewise acted as huge warehouses. Database for the enormous wide range of the city. In good times, presents flowed in.

And in tough times, they were divided back. This system produced a substantial wide range for the priest, but he also made sure that cities of this dimension can function. However we do not care now. Look beside the males who carry the grain. Do you see a man seeing them?

Note that whenever they bring a container of grain, he will make a tiny mark on his clay table.

With such an economic climate, with great deals of products, relocating to as well as from the holy place each day, they required to keep records in some way. As well as that’s specifically what he does. That table will be conserved later on, so that the clergymans might know precisely what they have at hand in their large holy place warehouse. However despite the fact that brand names have their place in the original writing, there is something far more fascinating for us on this wet item of clay that he holds.

He attracted a small photo of a grain stalk beside his records, so it is clear that his information refer to grain. For generations, this nice little illustration of grain has actually been streamlined. Much more abstract. Scribes were looking for faster as well as less complicated methods to tape products, they did not busily draw every sub-item brought to the holy place, yet rather they pertained to a mutually agreed set of more symbolic representations for goods moving into sanctuaries. And also you can see exactly how somebody can occur, that these signs need not just stand for the idea of something, however also the word itself.

As well as that’s specifically what took place.

The symbol for the cow was understood not only as a representative of the animal, but also as a word cow. Do you see the people at the temple talking to each other?

It would sound like everyone was saying the same thing over and over again if you could hear them. This is since Sumerian is a language where most words are just syllables as well as where the terms are made up of word structure. Both of these points are very important due to the fact that when most of your words are monosyllabic, it is simple not to consider a symbol as a word, yet as a noise for that word. Stop thinking about a symbol suggesting a word as well as start to consider the general definition of its sound, which can show more certain points. As soon as you do this, you will not attract photos for each and every word in the language.

Currently you begin to think of images as audios and also incorporating sounds together enables you to create different words.

As well as when you integrate that with that in Sumerian a variety of terms were based upon straightforward words, for instance, a sickle plus grain might suggest a harvest, so there is a quantum of what you can do with sounds and concepts, which represent thousands of photos. We’re not done. Because how the scribes wrote has altered the method we write in Western countries today. Do you keep in mind just how our good friend in the temple includes grain?

See how he writes from top to bottom, just as you would write a list. And if you accidentally rest your hand while writing from top to bottom, you can easily delete the entire column you just typed.

This risk is reduced if you start writing from left to. It was easier for scribes, but other literate people, who had to read it learned from top to bottom, so they didn’t like this sideways writing.

Quickly individuals review characters written sideways from entrusted to right. However since they were upside down, they were extra abstract currently. A lot more various from the things and pictures they used to represent. This writing system was then embraced by the bordering Akkad and also Elamites, that generalized it much more. Elements or little characters have actually additionally been added to identify which component of the speech was which, to avoid uncertainty.

As well as currently you have a real creating system.

Which means instead of a handful of nouns to be written to stock lists here we have a writing system that can give us abstract and lyrical things like the Epic of Gilgamesh or Enum elish. Funny thing about clay: When a place burns down and all your records are on clay, instead of being destroyed, they remain and harden.

Yet it won’t occur here for a while. So let’s praise scribes like this and the wonderful city of Sumer for what they gave us. A gift that lasted us more than five and a half thousand years. Writing. Since we don’t get to the False Episodes for these one-offs, I want to emphasize that this is only the first place in history where writing has flourished.

From what we have read, which is far from enough for a layman’s opinion, I believe that both groups have inherited the basic concept from Sumer. Let us know in the comments if you liked this attempt and you are interested in the history of ideas as well as the history of people and companies.


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Grinding an ink stick on the inkstone is an indispensable process to be good at Chinese calligraphy and painting. The famous Chinese calligrapher, painter, and connoisseur, Wu Fu-Fan ( 吴湖帆 ) always ground ink himself when doing masterpieces of calligraphy and painting. He would not let others to grind ink for him ( ). Many master Chinese calligraphers and painters declare that grinding ink on the inkstone is a good opportunity to learn the spirits of the brush strokes by controlling the densities of their ground ink which, in turn, will affect many technical and aesthetical issues and details of Chinese calligraphy and painting. One of the best way to enjoy practicing those arts is learn to how to grind ink on the inkstone first without wasting time and material since ink is considered the blood and spirit of the brush strokes.

Those who have not known to grind ink and practiced properly and effectively sometimes say “人磨墨, 墨磨人 (A man grinds ink stick, but the ink grinds “tortures 折磨” the man.)”

If we know many of the proper ways and tips to grind ink, we find practicing Chinese calligraphy and painting a lot of easier and enjoyable and faster progress may be obtained.

More hints:

磨墨機 / 磨墨机 (automatic grinding ink machine) may be found by Googling.