Suiseki and Painting Stones

Suiseki are small, naturally formed stones admired for their beauty. Pronounced suu-ee-seck-ee these fascinating stones suggest a distant mountain, waterfall, island, house, animal, bird, person or some other natural entity. The art of suiseki is believed to have originated some two thousand years ago in China, where small stones of great natural beauty were set on stands to represent islands and mountains associated with Buddhist or Taoist beliefs. In the sixth century A.D. emissaries from the Asian mainland brought several such stones to Japan. The Japanese adapted the art to their own tastes and have practiced it to this day.

Suiseki are traditionally exhibited on a carved wooden base called “daiza” or in shallow trays called suiban or doban. When formally exhibited, suiseki are often accompanied by bonsai. Conversely Suiseki are often used as accents to a bonsai on display in a formal setting. The term suiseki means literally “water stone”. It is derived from the ancient custom of displaying miniature landscape stones in trays filled with water and from the association between suiseki and classical Oriental landscaping paintings of mountains and lakes.

Chinese Painting Stones are polished dendritic siltstone of hardness 5-6 formed by ancient river silt which changed into a solid rock over a long period of time. The patterns were formed over the ages by weathering and by the seepage of iron, manganese, and chlorine by interaction with volcanic ash. First discovered in 1979, there is a very limited supply as it is only found in this one ruggedly mountainous area. The stones are cut. ground polished and lacquered to bring out the natural beauty of their stunning patterns. In China it is also called Guo Hua stone or "flower and grass stone". Source: Guilin, Guangxi Province, China. The name Chinese painting stones refer to the similarities between the stones patterns and Chinese painting style, the stones patterns are natural and not painted or enhanced in any way. These stones are absolutely stunning and will make an exceptional conversation piece and will bring a whole new dimension to your home.

Suiseki and Chinese painting stones are a beautiful accompaniment to bonsai being formally displayed and help to bring a sense of place to your arrangement. They also make beautiful quality gifts for those with an innate appreciation of nature and art.

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