There are some materials that you need for starting Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) and Simi-E.
Suzuri, an inkstone, is one of the main items.
An inkstone is a stone mortar for the grinding and containment of ink.
There are ones that are made with plastic, but it doesn’t work well and makes a loud noise. So, I highly recommend you purchase a real, stone Suzuri.
There are many shapes and price ranges for Suzuri to choose from.
How to make ink
You put some fresh water into the well part – it’s called “Umi” (literally “ocean”), and grind Sumi-ink on the hill area called either “Riku” or “Oka” – land and hill.
You then move some water from the Umi area and start to grind the ink at the Oka area. Make sure you make Sumi ink a circular motion and release the created ink into the ocean and repeat the process until the ink gets to a desired darkness.
How to check if the ink is strong enough to start writing.
Good, thickened, dark Sumi usually doesn’t bleed too much on rice paper yet it is smooth enough to let the brush to move freely. Always test the doneness of the ink on some rice paper before you start doing Shodo.