....so for the last few years I've been working on woodcuts,
your basic run-of-the-mill relief type woodcut printmaking
that western printmakers do.
A year or so ago,
I became intrigued with the
Japanese style of woodblock printing called
Unfortunately there aren't any Moku Hanga
workshops in, or around our area. There are a few available
in different parts of the US, but are rather expensive.
So, I recently bought this little info-packed book on the subject...
The book gives basic info on the history, materials and methods of
the technique. Just enough info to get me started....
Essentially, the technique involves using water based ink (or paint)
and mixing the pigment directly on the block with a little
rice paste (known as Nori) using special brushes to spread it across
the block, and then
printing on damp paper.
(The opposite of everything I currently do!)
A few days ago, I received my starter supplies from McClains,
The three brushes in front are (left to right)
Hanga Bake, Maru Bake, Steiner mixing brush.
The first two are used to mix the Nori and ink and spread it
over the block. The mixing brush transfers the ink to the block
from a container.
The large bottle is carbon black Sumi ink, the little container
holds the rice paste.
The wood block in the background holds "dragon skin",
which is a perforated metal plate. It's used to split
and soften the hair on the Maru Bake brush.
That brush is supposed to be singed on a hot plate
and then vigorously rubbed on the dragon skin
for 20-30 minutes to soften the bristles (something I haven't done yet).
In the coming weeks, I hope to do a test block (or several!)
to get a feel for the method before attempting an actual print.
Stay tuned, as I may post images of my first Moku Hanga attempts!
Here are a couple of great Moku Hanga websites
in case you find yourself intrigued by this method...
Annie Bissett - Woodblock Dreams
David Bull - Tokyo Printmaker