Inkstones (or ink slabs) are vessels in which ink is ground with an ink stick. Chinese invented the ink stone. Inkstones are manufactured from stone, clay, bronze, iron, and porcelain. They have a smooth flat surface to grind the ink stick into liquid ink and to this purpose they created an ingenious grinding tool - the inkstone.
Táo(hé)yàn) are made from the stones found at the bottom of the Tao River in Gansu Province. These inkstones were first used during the Song Dynasty and became rapidly desired. It bears distinct markings such as bands of ripples with varying shades. The stone is crystalline and looks like jade. These stones have become increasingly rare and are difficult to find. It can easily be confused with a green Duan stone, but can be distinguished by its crystalline nature.
Yamaguchi Prefecture will be delighted to present the following three items: authentic “Akama ink stone”, Akama inkstone has been made in Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan since 14 century; gorgeous “Ouchi Lacquer Ware” with a history dating back to the Muromachi period; “Hagi Ware (pottery and porcelain)” which was introduced in by potters from Korean Peninsula about 400 years ago and has long been admired in the world of tea ceremony.
The very fine mud under the bed of the Fenhe River is filtered, mixed with bounding material, dried and carved into inkstone, then fired in the kiln. Because of the different minerals in the mud and also the different temperature of the firing, final products have different colors.
Both counties were under jurisdiction of the ancient She Prefecture of Huizhou during the Tang Dynasty when the She inkstone was first made. This stone is a variety of slate and like Duan stone is categorized by the various mines from which the stone was obtained historically. It has a black color and also displays a variety of gold-like markings.She inkstones were first used during the Tang Dynasty.
She inkstone is one of the most sought collector's item among the literati and elite for thousands of years. It is named after Shezhou Prefecture, Anhui Province, where it was first produced in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). She inkstone is made of gray, light green, or black rare slate with markings, and the stone appears in layers and is hard. She inkstone has three features: quick forming of ink, no harm done to the brush, and preserving wetness of ink.