This weekend our regular Saturday Skype session with friends had a Japanese theme. As we only have one kimono between us to dress up in, I had to think of something else for our effort. I rummaged around in my studio and found a few calligraphic items which seemed to fit the bill.

A few years ago I thought I would like to try Chinese brush calligraphy. I bought a book, some brushes, paper, grinding stone and ink stick. After a few frustrating sessions I realised that it was not going to be easy, so everything went to the back of the drawer. I have occasionally used the grinding stone and stick ink with my Brause nibs and usually show my students how to make ink the traditional way, but I have never been committed to making up ink each time I want to write. Later, on a trip to Hong Kong I bought a ‘chop’, carved for me by the shop, and a tin of red paste. All this made a fun set up for the Japanese theme and I added a couple of origami birds and a few autumn leaves for decoration.

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