|Etegami using only sumi, without gansai colors|
|liquified sumi for Etegami use|
In Etegami, it is common to use a pre-liquified form of sumi that comes in plastic bottles. The price varies widely with the quality of the product. The product I normally use is a concentrated liquid of very high quality (and cost) that comes in the gray bottle and light blue box in the photograph above. A bit of this ink should be poured into a separate bottle with a tight-fitting cap, and diluted with more than ten times as much water before using. Never pour leftover ink back into the original bottle with the unused ink. The other bottle, the black one with the white cap and spout, I purchased from a 100-yen shop. It is used without dilution, and is good enough for young school children doing calligraphy practice. I learned to my dismay, that this cheaper ink smears when it comes into contact with gansai paints, so it really doesn't suit etegami. All sumi stains and is difficult, or even impossible, to remove from clothing.
|cheap sumi smears when gansai paint is added to the image|