Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Inkstone

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_1154

Synonym: Ink-slab

Inkstone is a kind of stationery associated with ink grinding and brush writing. In general, four types of stone materials are used to make inkstone: argillaceous rocks, slate, phyllite and carbonaceous rocks. Like paper, writing brushes and ink, inkstone has played an important role in the spread of Chinese civilisation and the development of Chinese art and culture. Inkstone is also the most popular collectible of these four writing tools. The stone materials for inkstone must have a fine texture and be able to hold moisture and facilitate ink grinding. Therefore, the stone should have the characteristics of (1) a suitable hardness (Mohs scale of 3–4) that is ideal for ink grinding; (2) an appropriate grain size in the range of 0.01–0.001 mm, which can facilitate grinding of the ink particles to the correct size to form an oily ink solution; and (3) a suitable mineral flake array with a particular angle to the inkstone surface to ensure proper grinding and water...

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