Best Chinese Calligraphy Set- Review and Buying Guide
Chinese characters are like itty bitty works of art. Written as calligraphy and they’re downright gorgeous. That’s why so many people practice Chinese calligraphy. You can take one of Confucius’ many wise sayings and write it in Chinese calligraphy to make really beautiful wall art or to give away as a gift.
It’s a relaxing hobby for some and for some it’s a profession. No matter how or why you need a Chinese calligraphy set, it takes a lot of practice to master this art. First you’ll need the right tools to create neat and tidy looking calligraphy. Then you’ll need the right kind of paper.
Just like in ancient times over in the Orient, you can buy actual rice paper to write on or you can use some of the more modern calligraphy paper so that you can practice your art without wasting too much money on paper – although it’s really not that expensive.
All that said, for those of you in the market for a really good calligraphy set, we looked around and found the 10 best Chinese calligraphy sets. Keep reading to the end for our list of the best accessories to go with your new set!
10 Best Chinese Calligraphy Sets
1. Best Overall Calligraphy Set
Sure you could buy a Chinese calligraphy print that thousands of other people own, but where is the fun in that? How about making your own with this High-Grade Chinese Calligraphy Set from Teagas? It comes in a beautiful wooden box and the brushes can be used for writing or painting with ink.
This set comes with all of the tools you’ll need to feel like a genuine Chinese calligrapher including a Chinese ink stone and seal, a cinnabar inkpad, one Chinese ink stick, and a porcelain bowl and spoon – plus a handy brush rest.
Best of all, this set is made for both beginners and skilled amateurs alike. It’s authentic, using ink that you have to grind with a Chinese stone – just like the ancients! With Sumi brushes and plenty of ink to come up with several works, sit back and relax while mastering Chinese calligraphy on this set.
2. Gorgeous Chinese Calligraphy Set with Reusable Writing Cloth
This one could have easily had top billing on our list. It is the ancient looking Chinese Calligraphy Set from FancyWolf. It comes with a rewritable cloth scroll just like the rice paper of old. Except this ‘paper’ can be used over and over again – a thousand times to practice Chinese calligraphy!
We put this set at number two because unlike the Teagas set, this one is specifically made for beginners. Since beginners have a hard time working with ink at first, this set uses plain water that disappears after a few minutes.
With this set you get a Chinese character book, a water dish, two different writing cloths (one scroll) and a fancy calligraphy brush all neatly packed in an ancient style gift box. If this is your first attempt at Chinese calligraphy, we recommend starting with this one so that you don’t get ink stains everywhere.
3. Great Chinese Calligraphy Set for Beginners
Third on our list is the beginners’ version of the Teagas High-Grade Chinese Calligraphy Set. It is packed with everything you need to get started practicing Chinese calligraphy. This eleven piece set includes four different calligraphy brushes, an ink stone with ink stick, a cinnabar inkpad, one Chinese seal, a porcelain bowl and spoon, plus a rest for your calligraphy brush.
Beginners can practice Chinese, Japanese, and Kanji calligraphy using this set. The Sumi brushes are easy to use for beginners. It’s 100% ink based writing just like ancient Chinese calligraphy masters used to use.
Whether you want to begin learning Chinese calligraphy for its Zen qualities for calming and stress relief or you want to give it to someone as a gift, this is the perfect set for newbies to the art of Chinese calligraphy.
4. Versatile Ink and Water Based Chinese Calligraphy Set
Next on our list is this versatile Chinese Calligraphy Set by Teagas. This 12 piece set is made for both water based writing and painting as well as ink based calligraphy. It comes with four brushes, an ink stone and seal, one ink stick, a cinnabar inkpad, porcelain bowl and spoon, and a water writing cloth plus brush rest.
In water writing mode, you can practice without wasting paper. Plain water looks just like real ink when applied to the writing cloth and vanishes after a few minutes so you can keep practicing on a clean sheet. Once you’ve mastered water writing, it’s time to take it up a notch.
This set comes with ink and the tools to grind it but don’t apply ink to the writing cloth that comes with the set. You’ll need to buy a pack of Chinese calligraphy paper when you use ink.
5. Chinese and Japanese Writing Calligraphy Set
Ready to take your Chinese calligraphy to the next level? Then you just might be ready for this Chinese Calligraphy Set from Wancetang. This set is not for beginners. There is no practice cloth for water based writing. This is the real deal when you are ready to put ink to rice paper!
Wancetang’s Chinese Calligraphy Set comes with four types of calligraphy brushes plus an ink stone and seal. You get a standard cinnabar inkpad, a Chinese ink stick, ceramic bowl and spoon, plus a brush rest. The four different brushes are made for writing in Japanese, Kanji, or Chinese calligraphy.
We recommend this set for somewhat experienced Chinese calligraphers but not for beginners. You’ll end up wasting a lot of paper and getting ink all over the place if you start with this one. But if you feel ready to make your work permanent, try this high quality set!
6. Beautiful Master Chinese Calligraphy Set
Notice a trend here? The further down the list we get, the more skill required to use these sets. For experienced and master-level Chinese calligraphers, this Master Quality Chinese Calligraphy Set from Golden Panda is heads and shoulders above the rest.
You’ll feel just like a Chinese master working with this 18 piece brush set. The rotating brush rest is not just convenient, it is beautifully designed. This set embodies the spirit of the ancients – the brush hairs are made of a blend of goat, badger, and pony hair! The handles are made of authentic bamboo and rosewood.
As a gift, you’ll wow the Chinese calligraphy masters in your life with this gorgeous red silk lined box. It has a magnetic snap to close and store the set so that it stays in pristine shape! Fancy yourself a Chinese calligraphy master? See if you can handle this one!
7. Sumi, Kanji, and Chinese Calligraphy Set for Masters
Although this is a master level set, it sticks to the basics without being too overly fancy. The Master Chinese Calligraphy Set from The Sunrise is straight up old world in its simplicity. Notice how long the brush sticks are compared to some of the others on this list.
That’s the way they made them back in the olden days. Look at the ink well and the cover – all authentic Chinese design. The porcelain bowl and spoon, the ink slab, all of it is designed to reflect genuine Chinese culture. It comes with an ink stone, ink stick, wooden stamp, and four different styles of brushes.
This set is meant for serious calligraphy lovers who want the experience of painting and writing the way that the ancients did. It’s the perfect gift idea for the art lovers in your life – especially if they have a yen for Chinese culture!
8. Beginner Level Multi-Style Chinese Calligraphy Set
So maybe you’re not ready for The Sunrise master level calligraphy set. Good news – they make one for beginners! This is a High Grade Chinese Calligraphy Set made by The Sunrise specifically designed for novices of the art of Chinese calligraphy.
Although it’s made for beginners, the materials are all high quality and authentic. Like the master set, this set comes with an inkwell and cover, four distinctive old school calligraphy brushes with the long handles. There is also an ink slab, ink stick, and wooden stamp, along with an ink stone, water well, and a tiny spoon.
The box this calligraphy set comes in is designed as a wooden gift box that locks in the front and is easy to carry around. If you know someone who is a fan of Chinese culture and has a knack for doing art, they will love practicing the ancient art of Chinese calligraphy on this beginners’ set!
9. Professional Grade Chinese Calligraphy Set Released in 2017
Hot on the market, this new arrival is authentic yet modern and made for the more experienced Chinese calligrapher. The Shanlian Hubi Chinese Calligraphy Set by Corcio was just released last year and full of all kinds of ancient goodies.
All nine brushes in the set are made of animal hair – no lie! You have a bear hair brush, a wool hair brush, 3 weasel hair brushes, and several made of goat and wolf hair or Jian Hao. Why so many animals? This set is made for traditional Chinese calligraphy writing and painting in the ancient Hu style.
Expertly made for watercolor painting as well as calligraphy, this the most professional and bona fide of all of the Chinese Calligraphy sets we found. Are you serious about becoming a real live professional Chinese calligrapher? If so, this is the set that you need!
10. Traditional Sumi Chinese Calligraphy Set
Last on our top 10 list is this simple looking 8-piece Wolf Hair Chinese Calligraphy Set by Art Advantage. This set is made for traditional Sumi writing, painting, and drawing. The wolf hair by the way refers to the brushes – not the paper or the ink!
We put this one on the list because of its modesty and purity. Let’s keep it real; when ancient calligraphers were plying their trade, they probably did it in a quilted box like this one with their own fancy designs decorating it – who knows! But this 8 piece set comes with 3 wolf-hair brushes plus ink.
You can find several different versions of this calligraphy set from the 3 piece white goat hair brush set to the 14 piece Sumi set. Whether you’re a novice or an old hat at Chinese calligraphy, we think you’ll like the innocence of this little set.
Best Accessories for Your Chinese Calligraphy Set
Now that you found the best Chinese calligraphy set, we couldn’t let you leave without checking out some of these accessories that you’ll want and need to go with it.
1. Best Book of Chinese Calligraphy Motifs
You’ve got your set, now what are you going to draw or paint? We thought this was just the perfect accessory for beginners and professional calligraphers alike. It’s called the Chinese Brush Painting Bible. It has over 200 different drawing and painting motifs to choose from with step-by-step instructions on how to pull off each motif.
2. Practice Rice Paper for Japanese and Chinese Calligraphy
Some of the beginner sets on this list come with magic cloth or water paper only. Those are just for practicing until you get good at it. Once you’re ready to use ink, you’re going to need actual calligraphy paper. We choose this excellent practice rice paper for both Japanese and Chinese calligraphy from JapanBargain. It comes in 100 sheets so that if you mess up a few on the way to your masterpiece, it’s no biggie.
3. Magic Cloth (Reusable) for Chinese Calligraphy
Finally, some of our sets come with ink and brushes and no paper. If you want the fancy professional grade calligraphy set but you want something to practice on too, Teagas sells Reusable Chinese Calligraphy Water Writing Magic Cloth. It has grid lines to help you practice your calligraphy without wasting xuan (rice paper).