A visit to an ink factory

In the city of Huangshan. we visited an ancient ink factory.

But most of the dirty/hardest work has been moved out of town into a rural area far away - because of pollution. The office, display room and store remain but there are no longer wood fires.

To the right is the process. These upside down dishes with handles above are suspended over a smoldering wood fire - of a particular wood.

The soot and resin collect inside the dish. It is removed from the smoke as needed to pull out the collected black material which we will soon be called INK!

Enough resin remains to give it a play-dough consistency for a few days; afterwards it dries hard.
Here a worker is collecting ink into a suitable size.

He rolls it into a hotdog shape and asks you to squeeze. No, your hands do not get ink stained.
A his-and-her squeeze of ink plus a molded ancient ink soldier is a boxed gift of the visit.

To the right is a Chinese worker applying a gold calligraphy symbol to the top of round, checker shapes of ink. This will be part of a set sold at the Olympics.
I thought this was a nice picture
of a Chinese worker to include for you.
Today liquid ink from China gives painters freedom from grinding and mixing their own ink.

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