Posts tagged ‘Moku Hanga’
For the last X number of years,
I’ve been using Torinoko paper exclusively for
my mokuhanga prints.
Despite the finicky nature of it, I kept
right on using it because I had simply gotten used to it.
That, plus it’s reasonably inexpensive.
For the two prints I’m currently working on, I’ve
decided to dump the Torinoko for a while,
and expand my Washi horizons.
Last weekend, the three blocks
for the first print (of two) were finally ready
to be proofed all together. I hastily mixed up three
values of grey ink and proceeded to proof on Shin Torinoko,
which is a really crappy thin version of Torinoko.
Not good, period.
No photos of THAT will be posted here!
I’m also using my Hon baren for the first time. Lovely as it is,
it has a very different “feel” than the baren that I’ve
grown accustomed to and will require
Today, I sacrificed a few sheets
of better quality paper to proof with, Nishinouchi and
Both printed nicely. However Nishinouchi is
much too thin to use for this large size image. Once dampened,
it’s very difficult to handle, so that one is out.
I’ll try a few more before I settle on one for the edition, I’ll also
be experimenting with special techniques and possibly
color on these blocks before
I get the edition started.
Nishinouchi is on top and Tosa Maruishi below.
This is a proof variation using bokashi (gradation printing)
around the outer edge of the block.
This is one mokuhanga chore that I prefer to
put off as long as possible…conditioning printing brushes.
New brushes, such as these two, need a little work before using.
The bristles (either horse or hog hair)
need to be singed and the tips split.
What’s the point you ask?
Singeing and splitting the bristle tips results in a
softer, more absorbent brush. Plus, it’s less
likely to leave unsightly streaks on the block from rice paste
I skip the singeing step altogether and head right to the
“dragon skin”, which is a perforated metal plate
nailed to a wood board. Traditionally, in Japan,
a shark skin (yes, a real shark skin) is stretched
and nailed onto a board.
After soaking the brushes in water for a bit, they’re scrubbed
vigorously over the surface of the dragon skin to split the tips.
This takes quite a bit of time, as long as 30 minutes,
As you can see in the above photo, the water
turns black, and stinky too.
The odor is akin to being inside a barn…
full of wet barnyard animals…on a hot summer day.
Sadly, this is not a one time chore,
but needs to be done periodically to keep the brushes
in tip-top shape.
Plus, I’ve made some ridiculous carving blunders,
and I hope to correct those as well.