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Posts from the ‘printmaking’ Category

My Mother’s Hand

My Mother's Hand

It’s a good feeling to finally finish these two mokuhanga prints
and be able to move onto the next project.

The two different text blocks were particularly challenging for me to carve.
Not only was the carving
process tedious and physically painful, but the writing is that of my mothers.
Having to trace and retrace, and then spend months carving her handwriting
was a somewhat cathartic experience.

She was never fond of her handwriting so I found it endearing that
this found poem that she had written down, was done on lined
paper and in her best hand.

After doing an online search, I discovered the poem is actually
a song by Mahalia Jackson. I never heard it, and certainly didn’t know that she liked this song,
but the words clearly had meaning to her.

The silhouette images are of me and my parents
taken from photos that my dad took somewhere around 1960.

Each print is 12″ X 24″, an edition of three and
printed on Nishinouchi washi.


24 Mar 2016

Proofing day

At this point, three blocks (of six total)
are close enough to completion that I was 
finally able to proof them today.

text block proof

The text block needs more clearing and sanding in the background as well as
tidying up around the text.

mom proof

Silhouette block #1 also needs 
more work on the background to even it out 
to help prevent ink being transferred to the paper. 

dad proof

Same issue with this block, although here I 
had serious swirly baren marks!

28 Dec 2015


OK, my post title roughly translates
to “woodblock carving of net pattern”.
That would be an age old Japanese method of
carving delicate linework such as hair,
tree branches, and of course..nets.

The method involves utilizing two woodblocks,
one with horizontal lines and the other
with vertical lines. When printed on top of each other,
a crosshatched pattern is achieved.

I decided to give it a try for this
current reduction print I’m working on.
My results are truly underwhelming compared to
the early Japanese prints that I’ve studied.

I used a straight edge and the smallest u-gouge (1mm)
to make the lines. It was truly tedious and time consuming,
but I can know say that I’ve tried it, and it
may be the last time that I do!



Below are the two carved blocks,
the lines were carved at opposing 45 degree angles
instead of vertical & horizontal.



14 Oct 2015

Perfectly Flattened Robert Courtland Compton, #1 & #2

Back in 2007, before I discovered moku hanga, I was using Akua water based ink
with my woodblock prints.  
I had one problem after another and quickly abandoned the ink. The main problem was
that the oily ink would cause the paper, Owara Mulberry for this image, to buckle and wrinkle so badly
that I wasn’t even able to store them flat for fear of
permanent damage.
So today, as I was searching for prints to sell at the Tiger Lily Press print sale,
I thought it was time to try to salvage these.
I spritzed the prints with water, both sides, and used a hake brush
to even out the moisture. After waiting a few minutes for the paper to relax, I used moistened
watercolor tape to adhere all four sides. A blotter placed on top, with 
a board and a few heavy books finished it off.
A few hours later….voila! Perfectly flat + dry prints….
such a simple fix, so why did it take me 5 years to figure this out?!?
22 Oct 2012

calendar printing @TLP

Oh it’s a good feeling,
not only getting my edition of 100  calendar prints
completed in record time,
but not having a single one get screwed up in the process.
Things were much easier this time, now that we
have the necessary bits to 
lock the jig down to the base of the letterpress.
This made a huge difference, in the past the jig would either
slide around or lift up at one end
when the roller passed over it.
Susan’s expertise was essential at this point
since I had pretty much forgotten
everything that I learned in letterpress class!
Once we got the jig and 
pressure issues worked out, the actual
printing went smoothly and I was done 
in two hours!
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30 Jun 2012

sugar lift etching

After more line etching & burnishing, I think 
I”m about done with this etching….maybe not.
I’m going to pull a few more proofs this weeekend
and decide for sure, it may need a little
more burnishing.
This most recent proof is quite dark,
mainly because I  under wiped the plate.
Because of that, some detail is lost, but can be seen
in the second angled photo. 
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7 Jun 2012