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Create Your Own Hanging Scroll and Name Seal (activity)

Splashed Ink Landscape

Splashed Ink Landscape. By Soga Sojo (active 1490–approx.1512). Japan. Hanging scroll. Ink on paper. Gift and purchase from the Harry G. C. Packard Collection Charitable Trust in honor of Dr. Shujiro Shimada, 1991.63.

Content Standards (California): VPA/VA 4.2.6: Use the interaction between positive and negative space expressively in a work of art. VPA/VA 4.4.4:  Identify and describe how various cultures define and value art differently. VPA/VA 5.1.1:  Identify and describe the principles of design in visual compositions, emphasizing unity and harmony. VPA/VA 5.2.4:  Create an expressive abstract composition based on real objects. VPA/VA 6.5.3:  Create artwork containing visual metaphors that express the traditions and myths of selected cultures.


Materials: scroll: plain white paper, decorative paper or fabric, two dowels, string, glue or tape; name seal: scratch paper, carbon paper, thin foam core cut into seal-size squares (about 3 inches square) or small rectangles, tape, medium-point black marker, red water-soluble printing ink, ink roller and tray, dull pencils or other incising tools


  1. Make your own scroll
    1. Paint an image on the white paper. Your picture can be of a landscape, an animal, flowers, or anything else that you’re inspired to paint.
    2. Glue your painted image onto the center of a larger piece of decorative paper or fabric.
    3. Wrap the top and bottom edges around a dowel and glue or tape into place.
    4. Attach string to both ends of the top dowel for hanging. After everything has dried, you can roll up your scroll.
  2. Make your own name seal
    1. Sketch your design on a piece of paper; consider putting your initials inside an interesting shape as the artist and calligrapher did in the image above.
    2. Once you are satisfied with your design, place carbon paper facing down on the top of the foam core, then place your design face down on top of the carbon paper, and secure them all together with tape.
    3. Trace over your design pressing hard enough so that the carbon is transferred to your foam core; being careful not to tear the papers. Note: you are tracing onto the back of your design so that when you print your seal it will not be reversed.
    4. Remove the paper and carbon.
    5. Etch the design into the foam core using a dull pencil.
    6. Tape another piece of foam core to the back to create a little handle to hold your stamp.
    7. Roll out printing ink on a tray and then roll onto your foam core.
    8. Test out your stamp on scrap paper before printing on your completed artwork.

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