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Posts from the ‘woodcut’ Category

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



14″ X 14″ moku hanga reduction woodcut
edition: 5
Last week, after working on this image
for two months, I decided it was
time to bring it to an end.
This was my first color woodcut,
and the first time for me to
use more than one block (both
sides of two blocks were used). I was
surprised at how much wood that was left
on the blocks, it was possible
for me to keep right on printing but
enough was enough!
Generally I like to keep careful records
of ink mixtures, number of times
I print, etc.
Somewhere along the way, I lost
track of doing that. I think
that at least 12 different colors were
used, or countless variations of those. The background
was printed at least 8 times, and
overall the entire image
was overprinted roughly
35-40 times.
The paper (Torinoko)
held up very well despite
eventually showing some signs
of wear.
I guess I’ll continue pursuing color
printing since I just invested
in a wider selection of color inks!
Comments Off on Done
23 Apr 2012

color woodblock printing

I’ve ventured into scary territory….color woodblock printing!
My last attempt at any sort of color printmaking
was at least 30 years ago. Back then I
tried color lithography & etching,
 everything I did was a dismal dud.
So it was B&W only from that point onward.
But this year I wanted to try explore new areas
of printmaking. Not only is this my first
color woodblock print, but also the first multi block one.
It started with a master sketch and
separate color break downs. It wasn’t long
before I threw all of that aside, too tedious
and time consuming, and decided to
just “wing it” and see what happened.
I have two 14″ X 14″ blocks and
am using both sides of each. The reduction
process is pretty comfortable for me
so I’m using that technique as much
as possible.
After trying some dry pigments (not
successful for me), I settled on using gouache.
So far, I think I’ve printed 18 times.
I’m being very safe and either watering down,
or muting every color I use.
Consequently my image looks flat at the moment.
Luckily I have plenty of
wood left so I intend on continuing
to overprint to beef up the image.
Plus, I’ve made some ridiculous carving blunders,
and I hope to correct those as well.
4 Mar 2012

Buddha (mourning drape)

Prior to starting on this print, I made
a conscious decision to change up a few things.
Specifically, my imagery & method of working had to go
in order to grow a bit.
I wasn’t sure why, but just felt an
inexplicable tug pulling me off in a new direction.

I’m not sure what to do next,
but I really enjoyed figuring out how to carve & print 
these folds and drapes.  So perhaps another
“drape” print is in the near future.

I ended up doing fourteen reductions on this block.
Eight prints were completed, and once
I flatten & sort through them, I may
have an edition of four.
4 Jul 2011

flattened, folded & finished

I always have an interesting
feeling of relief/release whenever 
a print is finally completed.
I suppose that comes from working on them
for such a long time, that I inevitably 
get a little bored and anxious to move on to something else.

Luckily, yesterday my two month long wait
for my block order from McClain’s
finally arrived, so now I have a
fresh batch of shina to begin working on.

The final paper size on this image
is 21″ X 30″.
I did an edition of four on Masa paper,
and two artist proofs on Echizen Kozo.
20 May 2011