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image from The Craftology Store

Suminagashi is an ancient Japanese custom that translates to “floating ink;” it is also called paper marbling, or painting on water. The artist fills a shallow tray with water and carefully apply ink and paint to the surface, then transfers that ink to paper by gently pressing the paper onto the water in the tray. The “floating colors” approach to marbling also appeared in Islamic and Central Asia, and came over to Western Europe in the 17th century. Many artists, such as Amy Lee Segami, Joan Ajala, and Heidi Finley, who you can see using the technique below: