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Posts tagged ‘woodcut’

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

Washi, washi

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.


three woodblocks


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 
more practice.

Today, I sacrificed a few sheets
of better quality paper to proof with, Nishinouchi and 
Tosa Maruishi.
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.


two proofs


Nishinouchi is on top and Tosa Maruishi below.


bokashi edge proof


This is a proof variation using bokashi (gradation printing)
around the outer edge of the block.


1 Feb 2016

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!
Comments Off on calendar printing @TLP
30 Jun 2012

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


So today I proofed my text block,
and other than cleaning up the carving 
around the letters, I should be ready to print
in a day or two.
This is a good way to use up all of
my odds & ends of scrap paper!
Comments Off on proofing
14 May 2011


I finally completed the right side of my current print
this past weekend. But now I’m stalled on 
the left side. 
My original plan was to print the text as
you see it here in this transparent overlay, and the finished
print would be folded and creased in the middle
to resemble a page from a book.

 Since I’ve only print seven (and one is already ruined from
a random ink splash), I don’t have much room to play
with the text block. I had considered using colored ink,
and even printing it directly across the face.
I’ll need to ponder my choices for a few more days
before I decide….. 

“Plead Guilty” was taken from the handwriting on
the back of his mugshot. Interestingly, he was arrested
in my hometown of Toledo!

10 May 2011