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徽墨:烟与胶的千锤百炼

作者:佚名      来源:中国网      2021-11-20 23:01:35

墨,是中国传统书写、绘画的颜料,以水调和在砚台中细细研磨可以产生用于毛笔书写的墨汁。墨的发源与中国人独特的书写方式密不可分,笔、墨、纸、砚被古人统称为“文房四宝”。

Inksticks are a type of solid ink used as pigment in traditional Chinese calligraphy and brush painting. To make ink, the inkstick is ground against an inkstone with a small quantity of water, and the dark liquid thus generated is then applied with an ink brush. The invention of inksticks is inseparable from the unique writing habits in traditional China. Together with the ink brush, inkstone and Xuan paper, these four writing implements form the “Four Treasures of the Study”.

徽墨,是墨中最著名的派别,诞生于南唐时期,河北墨工奚超南迁到安徽歙县,取当地的大松为原料,制成的墨“黝黑发光、入纸不晕、历久不衰”。受到南唐后主李煜赏识,赐其国姓“李”。从此,徽州李墨便名扬天下,有“黄金易得,李墨难求”之誉。之后有大批工匠奔赴徽州,学习李墨之法,徽州从此成为全国制墨中心。

The “Hui inkstick” is the most famous inkstick in China. It was invented by master ink maker Xi Chao during the Southern Tang Dynasty (937-975). At the time, he moved southward from his hometown Hebei to Shexian County of Huizhou, and used local aged pines to produce inksticks, which “shine lik ebony, never soak the paper, and endure after applied”. Emperor Li Yu of the Southern Tang greatly treasured the inksticks Xi Chao made, and as a reward gave him the imperial surname “Li”. As a result, the inksticks made by the Li family in Huizhou became celebrated throughout the country, with its reputation best reflected by the saying, “It’s easy to get a piece of gold, but difficult to obtain a Li inkstick.” After that, group after group of ink makers travelled to Huizhou to study the techniques behind the Li inkstick, making the prefecture the center of ink making in China.

古人谈到墨,曾说:“得徽墨者,如名将之得良马。”古法制墨全部采用手工制作,一锭徽墨的诞生,要经过千锤百炼,至少历时一冬一夏,所以有“一两徽墨,一两金”之说。徽墨的制作工艺繁琐复杂,大部分工序虽都是体力活,却需要十分仔细。

In ancient times, people would say “Good inksticks are to scholars what good horse are to generals.” The conventional ink making is pure handicraft. It takes at least an entire year of painstaking effort, including hundreds and thousands of hammering and striking of the ink paste, to make just one Hui inkstick. Hence there is the saying, “Hui inkstick is precious as gold”. The Hui inkstick's production is laborious and sophisticated. It taxes the brains as well as brawn.

用灯草点燃桐油,或将松树去皮焚烧,把陶瓷碗倒扣在上面,缕缕黑烟撞在碗上,便生成黑色的烟灰,这层黑灰就是制作墨最基本的原材料。待冷却后扫取烟灰收集,一年出量特别少。

Typical production of the Hui inkstick begins with producing soot. The craftsmen light tung oil with a lit rush, or burn peeled pine wood, placing a porcelain bowl above. The smoke from the fire fumigates the inverted bowl, and forms a layer of soot, which is the basic material for ink making. The craftsmen wait for the bowl to cool before collecting the soot. Only a very small amount can be produced each year.

徽墨配方极其讲究,往烟灰里加麝香、冰片、珍珠粉等名贵材料。想要使墨“坚如玉、研无声”,就需熬胶。徽墨制作一般使用牛皮胶和骨胶熬制。然后倒入配好的墨料搅拌均匀,形成墨泥。经过上千次的捣杵,墨泥的物理特征发生改变。是从松软的一团变成一块坚硬无比的墨锭的必要一步。

The Hui inkstick's production follows a fastidious formula. The craftsmen usually add musk, borneol, pearl powder and other materials to the soot. To make an inkstick that is “hard as jade, and silent while grinding”, it needs to go through a boiling process. Craftsmen usually boil cowhide or animal bones into jelly-like glues and poured it into the raw ingredients, stirring the mixture into ink paste. The thousands of times of pounding and striking with mallet transforrms the ink paste's physical properties.This is necessary for it to finally turn into rocklike inkstick.

墨的模具雕刻非常精细,雕山水、人物、花鸟、书法,不仅要雕出好形,更雕出好意。墨团搓成圆柱状,嵌入墨模压制,冷却定型后即可脱模。模上的图案就印在了墨锭表面。

The ink molds, used to print patterns onto the inksticks, are meticulously carved. The carvings include landscape, characters, flowers and birds, and calligraphy. A good mold has to be impressive both techinically and artistically. Craftsmen squeeze the ink paste into cylindrical sticks before pressing them against carved molds. After the sticks fully cool down, they are taken out and the patterns on the molds are printed.

晾墨需要足够耐心,半年以上的时间,墨才会自然阴干。墨锭晾至三成干时,将毛边打磨修平,除掉瑕疵。晾干后的墨锭在出厂前,要对墨锭上的图案和字,用颜料进行描画填彩,以增加墨锭外观的美感,称之为“描金”。也是墨品的点睛之笔。

The airing of the inksticks requires tremendous patience, as it takes at least six months before they dry naturally. When the inksticks are 30 percent dry, the craftsmen would take them for trimming to flatten the bristles and remove the blemishes. After the airing is over, and before the inksticks are delivered to the market, the craftsmen paint their patterns and texts with pigment to accentuate the beautiful appearance. This is called “gilding”, a crowning finish to the whole process.

一方徽墨,看似轻巧,实则包含了匠人非凡匠心。墨锭集绘画、书法、雕刻、造型等艺术于一体,除了实用之外,更是古往今来文人墨客乐于收藏的艺术品。千年传承,暗香扑面,独具魅力。

Light though it is, the Hui inkstick contains incredible craftsmentship. It is a comprehensive art treasure involving painting, calligraphy, engraving, and sculpture all in one. Apart from being an excellent writing implement, it is also a collectible sought after by literati throughout the ages. Passed down across generations for over a millennium, the Hui inkstick, with its delicate fragrance, will remian captivating as ever.