Dongba Primer Recipe / by Frog Wing

WuZhimi failed get the mixture ratio right the first time. She tried fixing it by soaking the scroll and scrubbing in the morning, but it only worsened the surface quality. So HeXiudong came over on the weekend to help. After mixing and applying a new batch of primer, they gave the scroll a thorough rub-down with a large courtyard stone.

Ask WuZhimi what she learned, and this is her best guess:

  1. Choose a sunny day (with low-to-no winds) for this project. 
  2. Boil a pot of water; melt approximately 1 teaspoon of Nupijiao (hard glue pellets) in it.
  3. Take the eyeballed-amount of Nuomifen (sticky-rice powder) that you dissolved in cold water earlier, and add *some* of that in. 
  4. Remove from heat source. 
  5. Take the eyeballed-amount of Mianfen (flour) that you dissolved in cold water earlier, and add *some* of that in, too. 
  6. Stir to mix evenly. The final product should be white, thin, and watery. Refer to cell-phone videos and try to imitate that consistency. 
  7. Lay out scroll on hard, flat surface (concrete is fine, and probably better than wood). Apply mixture onto cloth with brush; work briskly. Cloth should be uniformly wet, but not over-soaked. 
  8. Let dry under direct sunlight. Before scroll is *completely* dry, rub across it with smooth hard rock or glass bottle, to flatten surface in preparation for drawing.
  9. After rubbing, let dry completely before rolling up for storage and/or reworking with ink.