Boku-Undo Suminagashi Marbling Kit

boku-undo suminagashi kit

I have always wanted to try paper marbling – so I finally decided to do some suminagashi experiments with the Boku-Undo Marbling Kit we sell at the store.

alternative medium

alternative mediums

Aside from the inks provided by the kit, I experimented with inks and paints that I had at home. Out of the alternative mediums, Pelican Tusche worked the best. I also used iridescent Liquid Acrylics and that also turned out nicely. However, the rest of the mediums I experimented with sank so I wouldn’t suggest them.



You will need a large container to hold the water. You can remove the dust on the surface of the water with a piece of newsprint before starting. The kit comes with floating papers that you apply the ink on to in the water. These little circles can be reused after drying. If your floating papers start to sink, I’ve read that you can replace them with light weight cardstock.


After applying the inks, you can create designs by blowing on the ink lightly with a straw. You can also use a needle to drag the inks out. If you want to have white spaces between the marbled layers, you can dip a brush soaked with soap into the design.


The results varied with all of the different papers that I tried.  I found that an ideal paper for suminagashi should be lightweight and have long fibers.



6 Responses to “Boku-Undo Suminagashi Marbling Kit”

  1. julie says:

    Linda….I have not done this technique yet, but I would guess the reason the ink sinks sometimes is due to the surface tension of the water being broken. For example- soaps break surface tension. Could there be containment like soap in the container of water?

  2. heather says:

    Hi Linda, I am a little stumped as to why your inks would be sinking sometimes. We have not had that experience so I am at a loss as to what to suggest…. If anyone has any insight please speak up :) Sorry, I wish we could be of more help!

  3. Linda says:

    Thank you for your marbling blog… I was wondering if you could help me with a small problem I experienced when doing this activity with a class of 12 year olds. When trying to achieve concentric circles there was inconsistency with success, sometimes it worked, sometimes the paint sank to the bottom of the tank. I used Boku-Undo and water with #1 mixed bristle brushes. We could not work out why it worked sometimes an other times not. Your thoughts would be most appreciated.

  4. judith says:

    That you for enjoying our blog. The Boku-Undo Suminagashi Marbling Kit that we carry contains water based inks that are great for basic marbling techniques as well as basic paper dyeing. The kit comes with little circle floating papers that act in place of an additive to the water.
    all the best,

  5. isabelle says:

    Thank you for posting your experience with the sumi inks.
    were you able to manipulate the colours in the water to create a specific design or image.
    also, does the kit contain something to add to the water to make the colours stay on the surface. i have read that sumifactant such as carageenan is used. amy segami, a suminagashi artist creates very bold colours in her pieces and her video shows her being able to direct the paints, without them breaking up.
    thank you,

  6. Rick says:

    Thank you very much for publishing the results of your experimentation with inks. I have really wanted to work with this technique, but didn’t want to drop a load of cash on a whole variety of inks to find those that worked best. Will buy some Pelikan Touche now. Most appreciated!

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