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The Four Treasures of Study

The Four Treasures of Study
China’s Four Treasures of the Study is used to refer to the ink brush, ink stick, paper and ink stone which is used for the Chinese calligraphy and painting.The two of the legendary “Four Treasures of the Study” tools are brushes and ink.The rice paper (zhi), and the ink stone (yan) which is grind the solidified ink sticks are the other vital elements of culture.

During the Warring States Period, the traditional brush (bi) became recognized. Meng Tian, a general of the Qin Dynasty,improved it. Brushes are made of animal hair attached to a bamboo stick.There are various kinds of animal hair were once used, such as goat, ox, rabbit, sheep, marten, badger, deer, wolf, each having certain properties. They are categorized by their size and the strength like large, medium and small and soft (usually taken from goat), medium (taken from rabbit, or a mixture of goat and weasel hair) and hard or stiff (taken from weasel tail). Different animals’s hair can be combined to create different textures.

An unusual antique piece of ink is shaped like a ruyi, a scepter tribute offering, that conveys wishes for happiness and good fortune. After shaping, it takes about two years for the ink to dry, in a totally dry and dark environment.

Burning pine or another wood in an earthenware container, mixing dense ash with glue, and compressing it into an ink stick,then you can have a a ink.The ink is shaped like a ruyi,which means wishes for happiness and good fortune. After shaping, the ink will be put in a totally dry and dark environment and takes about two years for the ink to dry.

In order to adsorb ink easily,paper in the old days is very thin and light.It’s made from ice straw or rice flour.

Traditional Chinese ink is usually solidified into sticks for easier transport and preservation. An ink stone is like a stone mortar for the grinding and containment of ink.After sprinkling water on the flat surface of the ink stone, mixing ink with different amounts of water, the calligrapher or artist can create different densities and innumerable shades of black and gray.