Inking Deals That Were A Daily Grind

When I was still very young, all my older cousins were enrolled in Chinese-medium schools. 

One of the mandatory requirements for them was to learn writing with brushes.  The brushes came in 2 or more sizes, depending on whether the writing was to be Big or Small.  

The most interesting part was that the students had to make their own ink in-situ, before the start of each writing exercise session!   This was done by putting some water onto an “ink stone” and then taking a rectangular piece of black stuff called “ink stick” and grinding it in a circular fashion against the wetted surface of the inkstone. 

The brushes were then dipped into the rich, freshly produced ink, and put to work in the hands of the budding calligraphists. Of course, different folks had different strokes, but everyone was inking deals.

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