Suminagashi: Japanese paper marbling

Suminagashi: Japanese paper marbling
Member: Sarah Amatt
Introduction to Suminagashi; Japanese paper marbling

Course Overview

The art of suminagashi, the Japanese form of paper marbling, is both compelling and intriguing. It dates back to the Heian period of Japan (794-1185) and is the precursor of all other marbling techniques. Learn to marble paper with this technique of floating ink on water. Unleash your creativity and get familiar with the process and materials involved. Take home many sheets of paper decorated with suminagashi for use in bookbinding and other paper arts. The workshop is designed to give you all the knowledge you need to carry on marbling at home. No artistic training required, just curiosity!
The cost includes all materials and refreshments provided (please bring a packed lunch).


  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Access Information

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10 - 3


Birches Farm Nature Reserve

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“Sarah’s teaching was wonderfully calm and intuitive. Her quiet enthusiasm and wisdom about Suminagashi was very inspiring, showing us that each and every print we made was completely unique, which was enlightening to realise. We learnt a number of techniques quite early on in the workshop, and this gave us the confidence to experiment with different ideas and to embrace our ‘mistakes’ and trust the creative flow. ”
Liz Pyman
“The venue for the workshop was excellent - everything was nicely to hand. All the materials that could possibly be needed for the workshop were provided by Sarah, whose teaching was brilliant. All the instructions were clear and easily understood. The workshop would be ideal for children as well as adults wishing to learn a new skill. The joy of this workshop was that as a result of the practical skills learnt during the day it will now be possible to carry on producing suminagashi designs at home without going to a major expense. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, with plenty of completed designs to take home for future use with calligraphy, making cards or little books, or just framing by themselves as a unique piece of art - the refreshments provided were very tasty too! Thank you, Sarah. ”
Felicity Burchnall
“….. it was wonderful. Very informative, with a perfect balance of instruction and practical freedom.”
Ruth Bradley
“Hi Sarah, I really enjoyed the workshop on Saturday, the process is magical, and you had done everything needed to make it run smoothly so that we could get the most out of the day. There isn't much more you could do I feel, maybe a wider range of sample papers would be interesting, but that would be a bonus not something that was missing. It was great to have the generous supply of Khadi paper. Thanks again and best wishes ”
Sophie Woodrow
“I found the tuition useful- you gave just enough information so that my imagination was able to flow. You didn't hinder my creative process but rather gave just enough technique to begin my relationship with water printing. You spoke about the Japanese idea of 'less is more' and this invoked in me an absorbing inquiry into mindfulness, the breath and the experience of 'flow' that can easily be achieved through Suminagashi. I enjoyed the feeling of working with water and ink, noticing the responses through movement and non-action and how each print reflects the given moment. It was fascinating and absorbing. ”
Peta Piper