Today's postings

  1. [Baren 23766] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V25 #2497 (Dec 31, 2003) (Sharri LaPierre)
  2. [Baren 23767] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V25 #2497 (Dec 31, 2003) (Myron Turner)
  3. [Baren 23768] Re: Loopomania (Julio.Rodriguez #
  4. [Baren 23769] A4 (Barbara Mason)
  5. [Baren 23770] introduction of new member (Earl Taft)
  6. [Baren 23771] some old info, revisited (Barbara Mason)
  7. [Baren 23772] Re: introduction of new member (Julio.Rodriguez #
  8. [Baren 23773] Re: A4 (Myron Turner)
  9. [Baren 23774] Re: createx????? (Mike Lyon)
  10. [Baren 23775] Re: introduction of new member (Aqua4tis #
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Message 1
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 09:58:36 -0800
Subject: [Baren 23766] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V25 #2497 (Dec 31, 2003)
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My question re/ the self portrait project is, or I should say are,
since now I have two:
1. Do you want black and white or color copies?
2. Since we do not use A 4 as a paper size in the US are 8.5" x 11"
sheets acceptable?

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Message 2
From: Myron Turner
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 13:41:17 -0600
Subject: [Baren 23767] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V25 #2497 (Dec 31, 2003)
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I went ot a Kinko's type place (or should I say Finko's now that they've
been bought by Fedex?), and they Xeroxed the prints onto a larger sheet and
cut it to A4 size for me. It still fits into a 9x12 envelope.

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Message 3
From: Julio.Rodriguez #
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 13:42:40 -0600
Subject: [Baren 23768] Re: Loopomania
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Hi Carol L...........I was revisiting your web site and came across the
wonderful experimental images with 'Loopomania'. These are very nice and
have a vibrant and pleasing effect. I think they really show the way you
love to have fun and experiment with different techniques....

Would like to know more about the technique and the thought process behind

all the best and a Happy New Year to all bareners...........Julio
Rodriguez (Skokie, Illinois)
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Message 4
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 11:53:01 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 23769] A4
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Since you now have experience, can you tell me the exact size in inches for A4? I would be most grateful.
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Message 5
From: Earl Taft
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 11:58:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 23770] introduction of new member
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Dear Bareners,
Happy New Year! I have been reading the Baren Digest
for a few months, and figured it was about time I
introduced myself.

I came to Baren following a Yahoo search for "Japanese
Woodblock Printmaking." I have found the discussions
informative and the links to galleries of prints and
Haiku very interesting. I have read the instruction
manual you are developing and am using it as a guide.

My name is Earl Taft. I live in Angleton, Texas about
45 minutes from Houston and Galveston, near Freeport.
During the new year, I will celebrate my 40th wedding
anniversary and 60th birthday. I have three grown
children and eight grandchildren. I am a Certified
Public Accountant with my own tax practice and am an
ex high school math teacher.

I have drawn and written poetry since childhood. I
made and sold potholders for spending change as a
teenager. I bought two etchings I still have at a
plantation in Louisiana on a vacation trip with my
parents after graduating from high school in 1962. I
joined the Marines after graduating and spent 13
months in Okinawa and three months in Viet Nam. along
with tours in SC, NC, Arlington, VA, Camp Pendleton
and San Diego, CA. I developed an interest in oriental
arts and even toured a plant that made lacquer ware in
Naha, Okinawa. The Marines actually changed my
specialty from radioman to construction draftsman in
Okinawa as a result of my pencil drawings of
girlfriends, when I was a runner in the company office
waiting to start radioman school.

In college following my service days, I took life
drawing, printmaking, music and acting courses as
electives. I produced three prints in the class on
printmaking, a Plexiglas etching, a linoleum cut and a
color woodblock. I have dabbled in oils, acrylics,
watercolor, graphite, pen & ink, jewelry making, and
wood carving. I designed a spiritual symbol and
contracted a jewelry factory to produce it for me in
the 70's. I have carved several walking sticks and
canes. My wife and I have collaborated on the design
of several original needlepoint works we donated to
charities. I even learned to knit one year, so I
could knit my wife a shawl for Christmas.

In the early eighties we purchased "The Flowers of the
Golden Sky," an exquisite limited 4-print edition of
color woodblock prints by Tangyu Asada, commemorating
his eightieth birthday, which still hang in our living
room. They have inspired my to settle on watercolor
and Japanese woodblock prints, potentially with some
Haiku, as a means of expression.

Approaching 60, I have finally decided to get serious
about my art. I got watercolors and started painting.
My wife and I agreed to invest several thousand
dollars in woodblock print equipment and supplies to
that end. I was just informed that my "Hon" Baren is
ready for shipment. I built carving and printing
benches out of oak and oak plywood in preparation,
using designs I found on Baren and modified for my
workshop. My interest is in producing fine color
prints of the saints and spiritual subject matter in
the traditional Japanese method.

I bought a 1" X 8" X 12' cherry plank and have cut it
into blocks for my first print of Our Lady of
Guadalupe. I have traced the design from a photo of
the original miraculous image and prepared copies for
gluing to the blocks. I still don't quite understand
the Japanese registration method. I cut my
registration block larger than the others so I could
cut the corner and edge registration marks into it.
As I understand it, I print the registration block
first on the prints and somehow use the marks to align
the prints on the color blocks. Since I intend to use
mulberry paper from the Baren Mall, will I be able to
see the marks through the back side? Or do I have to
carefully line the marks up directly as it is laid on
the blocks? Also, is the rice paste mixed with the
watercolor ink? If so can I get just a little more
guidance than "mix a little rice paste." How much is a
little, and how do I prepare the paste?

As you can tell from this email, I also like to write.
I am looking forward to a long and rewarding
relationship with you all.

forget the past
start life anew

Earl Taft
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Message 6
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 12:40:02 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 23771] some old info, revisited
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Welcome to baren! You have certainly made an ambitious start and I am sure with your tenacity you will be successful.

The registration method is pretty simple. You carve a small backwards L in the lower right hand corner of the block, about 1 inch from your image edge, then 3/4 of the way down the longest side of the image, you carve another small mark, that looks like an upside down v with a flat on the pointed side. This flat lines up with the bottom line of the backwards L. You can drop the paper into this spot over and over and it will always fall in the same place. This does not have to be deep, only about .050 You hold the paper with the first two fingers of each hand, above the block. drop the lower right hand corner into the backwards L, lock it in place with your thumb, line up the other hand with the upside down v, drop the paper into this spot, lock with your thumb. THEN let go of your fingers of your right hand and then the fingers of your left hand. with your thumbs locked, the paper will fall perfectly into place. If you are printing the paper many times, you might want to use a tiny
dab of clear fingernail polish on the corners of the paper to strengthen it in this spot before you dampen it. Practice makes perfect with this paper dropping.

When you transfer the print to the second block, you print on stable paper (hanshita paper or sumi paper) that will not buckle when damp. Also ink the kento marks, the backwards L and upside down v....if you transfer this to the next block you will be able to carve it in exactly the same place and thus your paper will line up. So the marks are on all the blocks in the same place. The hanshita paper or sumi paper is thin and you can see through it to carve. Be sure to wait until it is dry to carve or you will tear the paper up. If you cannot see well enough you can use a bit of oil on a q-tip to make the image easier to see through the paper.

The rice paste is a binder, like the gum arabic in mix it in a bowl with water until it is the consistency of Karo syrup, and use only what drops off the end of a stick in a few places on your block. You should be able to count one, two and then it will drop, if it drops sooner it is too thin. You can test the difference between using and not using it when you print. If you do not use it you might have streaks in your large flat color areas as it helps the pigment go on smoothly. Sometimes it is not used or used to excess to get a certain effect. Sort of a grainy spotty look.

The single thing most beginners do incorrectly (I remember it very well) is to use too much paste and too much water and too much pigment. Once your block is damp you only need a thin sheen of pigment and paste on the block. It should look shiny when you look across it but not soppy wet. If you see dry spots, of course you need to reink it. If anyone on the list lives close to you maybe you can get a demo. Read all the info in the one point lessons and ask all the questions you need to, someone will answer. I am certainly not the most experienced person here, but I am teaching it and that makes me really think about how to explain what needs to happen, step by step. Dave is our expert but he is so busy he only answers mail that no one else can handle, although he is most gracious to always help us if we are desperate. When you carve, take a small amount at a time and keep both hands on the tool, safer that way.
Best to you and much luck,
ps....we all envy you the hon baren! You will be able to really feel what you are doing with it, be sure to think of printing with the base of your palm and not your knucles or you will get huge calluses. You need to hold the baren very flat, but pull up on the handle to make it slightly convex. It will give you great control.
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Message 7
From: Julio.Rodriguez #
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 15:03:26 -0600
Subject: [Baren 23772] Re: introduction of new member
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Hi Earl......welcome to the group...thank you for your
introduction...sounds like you have done your homework on Moku-hanga and
are on your way, congrats !

Earl........Barbara is right on with her description of the registration
technique is simpler to use than what it sounds when you first hear
about it...try it....

re the paste recipe is taken from the baren site and is
close to what Dave and others use. I just take a teaspoon of regular flour
and put it into a pot with about a 8oz of water....I stir the mix good
while heating to get rid of any globs and let it come to a boil for a
minute or two....the whole thing takes about five minutes to make....the
mixture becomes translucent and cloudy in appearance as it starts to boil
and that's it. If you heat it too long the water evaporates and it becomes
too thick to needs to have a runny/pasty consistency. It is good
for a day or so depending on the weather and wether you take breaks and/or
refrigerate the paste....then after that it starts to smell. There are
commercial substitutes available.

You normally don't mix the paste and the water colors
apply them to the block separate and mix them in the block together with
your much paste to use ? It depends on the size of the color
area you are printing....I normally use an old brush, a chopstick or some
similar tool to drop a few small globs (half the size of a dime ?) of
paste on the block.... or like Barbara mentions....whatever drops off the
end of a stick....then add a few globs of color to the block and mix the
whole thing up....once you are start playing with it you'll get a feel for
how much paste to use. Use tooo much and the paper starts to stick to your
block ! The key is to let your brush become saturated with the mix and
"warm up" your block with the few first prints...

The best place to read and see a detailed description of the process is in
Dave Bull's website....not only does he has one example.....he has several
step-by-step prints in the some you can click and compare
photos of the print and photos of the actual blocks carved for each
step...if you have not seen this site is a must.

good luck, enjoy the new tools and welcome to Baren.......Julio Rodriguez
(Skokie, Illinois)
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Message 8
From: Myron Turner
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 15:46:07 -0600
Subject: [Baren 23773] Re: A4
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I've already sent my Xeroxes to Murillo. But according to Wordperfect A4 =
8.267 x 11.693 inches. I found a web sits which gives a mathematical
explanation which boils down to this size in millimeters:
210 x 297
For those of you who want the math:

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Message 9
From: Mike Lyon
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 16:18:24 -0600
Subject: [Baren 23774] Re: createx?????
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At 12:22 PM 12/30/2003 -0500, georga wrote:
>have any of you used createx pure pigments for hanga printing? these are
>the liquid dispersions

I have used their Prussian Blue (from Daniel Smith). It's very strong and
works fine but has a bit of reddish shine at very high concentrations.

-- Mike

Mike Lyon
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Message 10
From: Aqua4tis #
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 22:55:18 EST
Subject: [Baren 23775] Re: introduction of new member
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welcome earl id love to see some of your work i like your idea of doing
hanga prints of the saints i love the old byzantine icons it would be fun
to combine the two

to all bareners
may the new year be positive, prosperous and peaceful for us all