Bier de Stone ( wrote,
Bier de Stone

Making an inkstone out of a stone harder than metal

There is a youtube video I discovered the other day that left quite an impression on me. The craftsman who carves this inkstone makes it look so easy that I want to make one too. An inkstone is a device used for grinding an ink stick into a liquefied substance using plain water. I recently discovered how to make just enough droplets of distilled water using regular home appliances, like a stove, a pan, water, ice, etc. You see, I picked up a small bottle of ink that must've been sitting on the shelf for eons that it was not a soluble as my calligraph dip pens would like. To save the bottle of ink, which incidentally is described as chinese stick ink, I followed instructions on label on diluting it with distilled water. And hey! it worked. Hey Mikey!!

I love the idea of alchemical experimentation like pulling up a website that helps in cooking up some water. I've had this beach stone that I offered to my gold fish and today he/she said to me "Hey, why don't you take this stone and carve it up with a rune symbol, or make it into an inkstone. You know you want to. Just do me a favor and add some water to my pond please. How 'bout the weather we're having?" And so I began the inkstone project. My forearms feel like they're going to bloat like Popeye's huge arms. I spent the whole day trying to carve that think with chisels as I watch the instruments I'm using gradually become blunt. I make feeble attempts to sharpen them again and continue. I caught a bumble bee and fed it to my pet alligator lizard. Oh… I'm sorry, Did I just lose my train of thought?

Most stones on the beach will not polish, but there are many that will. The harder stones polish best - those that look almost shiny already. Reject those stones which look grainy, they may be hard, but will not polish.
One way of checking the hardness of a stone is to try to scratch it with a penknife. If the knife cuts a mark or produces a powdery line, then the stone will not polish. If the knife leaves a metallic line, then the stone is harder than steel and it will polish.
Stone polishing instructions
Tags: calligraphy, writing

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