Today's postings

  1. [Baren 26428] Re: Japan trip - Iwano Ichibei, Gallery Ezoshi, Richard Steiner, April Vollmer, etc. ("Matt Laine")
  2. [Baren 26429] Printing with Oil (MJ Brush)
  3. [Baren 26430] Re: Printing with Oil (arl125 #
  4. [Baren 26431] Re: Japan trip - Iwano Ichibei, Gallery Ezoshi, Richard Ste... (ArtfulCarol #
  5. [Baren 26432] Re: Japan trip - Iwano Ichibei, Gallery Ezoshi, Richard Steiner... (Aqua4tis #
  6. [Baren 26433] Nagasawa, Kyoto and Tokyo ("April Vollmer")
  7. [Baren 26434] Re: Printing with Oil (Barbara Mason)
  8. [Baren 26435] Re: Japan trip - Iwano Ichibei, Gallery Ezoshi, Richard Steiner, April Vollmer, etc. (Mike Lyon)
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Message 1
From: "Matt Laine"
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 08:19:00 -0500
Subject: [Baren 26428] Re: Japan trip - Iwano Ichibei, Gallery Ezoshi, Richard Steiner, April Vollmer, etc.
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Thank you so very much for all of this and congratulations on your succes in this show. What a high this must be for you. It was a high for me seeing the pictures and the links you included. Plus I don't think I will ever again wonder why the price of Japanese paper.

Matt Laine
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Message 2
From: MJ Brush
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 15:58:11 -0500
Subject: [Baren 26429] Printing with Oil
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I enjoy so much your postings and have learned much about hanga printing
from this list. Let me pass on a small safety note for printing with oil.
Brushes & rollers clean up very well with "baby oil" instead of the
dreaded turpentine or mineral spirits. After cleaning, just wash lightly
with soap. Much healthier on us & the environment. I do not use Gel
rollers, has anyone tried cleaning them with something other than
solvents? Best, M.J.

92 High Street
Mystic CT 06355
phone/fax 860 572-1717
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Message 3
From: arl125 #
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 09:46:47 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
Subject: [Baren 26430] Re: Printing with Oil
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I often use corn oil for cleaning rollers. The only problem is trying to get that film off after. Soap and water usually gets it all off and sometimes I clean the ink slab and plate with a little alcohol at the end.
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Message 4
From: ArtfulCarol #
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 09:49:49 EST
Subject: [Baren 26431] Re: Japan trip - Iwano Ichibei, Gallery Ezoshi, Richard Ste...
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A dream come true!!!
Congratulations to Mike and April!
I enjoyed all the photos and descriptions you both sent.

Carol Lyons
Irvington, NY
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Message 5
From: Aqua4tis #
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 11:14:44 EST
Subject: [Baren 26432] Re: Japan trip - Iwano Ichibei, Gallery Ezoshi, Richard Steiner...
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this is fabulous mike thank you for sharing and
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Message 6
From: "April Vollmer"
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 11:32:16 -0500
Subject: [Baren 26433] Nagasawa, Kyoto and Tokyo
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Now that Mike Lyon has his photos up, I should let you see mine too! Mine
include some shots of Mike, since I was able to meet him in Kyoto!

I was in Japan for 5 1/2 weeks. I was invited to assist at the Nagasawa Art
Park program on Awaji Island. A great program, it provides a way for artists
to learn moku hanga over 2 months by working in a rural town, meeting with
master printers from Kyoto. I worked with the group for over two weeks then
traveled to Tokyo to meet our own David Bull. Generous as usual, he was
helping Marco Marinucci improve his printing. I had the pleasure of meeting
Sadako, and I can assure you she is real, charming, and a good cook!

Then I was invited to Tetsuya Noda's class at Tokyo University of Fine Arts,
where I met master printers from the Adachi studio. Then I got caught in the
biggest typhoon in ten years with my lithographer friend Choichi Nishikawa!
I finally found my way back to Kyoto where I met my partner John for some
touristing, punctuated by visits to Richard Steiner's studio and Mike Lyon's

Japan was incredible, people were generous, and I got great support for my
work. People were surprised to find a westerner so involved with Japanese
woodblock. Sometimes they were puzzled, but mostly they were pleased.

Photos at

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Message 7
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 08:28:22 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 26434] Re: Printing with Oil
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Don't ever put water on gel rollers...use alcohol to remove residue.

Water will clean all the residue off the slab, just spray after the oil and wipe up with a paper towel...the water lifts the ink residue off the glass.
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Message 8
From: Mike Lyon
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 10:58:41 -0600
Subject: [Baren 26435] Re: Japan trip - Iwano Ichibei, Gallery Ezoshi, Richard Steiner, April Vollmer, etc.
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Barbara Mason wrote:
>How the heck did a guy from Kansas get to Japan to have an art
>show???? Seems like a book here somewhere....or at least a small pamphlet!

First, thanks to Bette, Sharri, Diane, Shireen, John C., Colleen, Matt, Bea
and other well-wishers! I appreciate your support and kind remarks!

Now to Barbara's question about how the show in Japan came about... Not a
book in that, I don't think, but maybe too long for a Baren
posting... Still, I think it's kinda interesting, since the Ezoshi show
came about as the direct result of my participation in Baren Forum, believe
it or not!

I have tried to explain this and to express my deep gratitude directly to
Baren founder David Bull on several occasions, but he has always shrugged
off my thanks and attributions -- but honestly! Baren and Baren members
have been of tremendous help to me in so many ways, and David Bull has been
unwaveringly generous to me with his time, suggestions, critiques,
techniques, sources for materials and tools, arranging my initial purchase
of paper from Iwano-san (and Dave contacted Iwano-san on my behalf in order
to arrange our recent visit), even made his list of media contacts for
Japan available to me and to my gallery !!

I've made woodcuts off and on since middle-school years, but only began
practicing Japanese technique in 1996 when, for reasons I do not at all
understand, I felt absolutely 'compelled' to participate in a two week long
workshop by Hiroki Morinoue. I'd never done any art workshop before, nor
felt any desire, so that overwhelming drive to get into that particular one
really hit me right out of the blue. But I loved it! Like sweets to one
starving it was so deliciously satisfying!

In late May, 2000 I stumbled upon and soon joined, lurking
before (at Dave's off-list suggestion) introducing myself a late June
post. At that time, most of my work output was still paintings and
monotypes but I was also making a significant number of "tiled" woodblock
prints. But most of the nice 'art-world' things that have happened to me
in the past couple of years have directly or indirectly been the result of
that one 'inspired' act (joining Baren) which has also resulted in more and
more of my work coming off wood blocks!

After I joined Baren, I liked the idea of print exchanges and began to
participate, eventually developing from tiled images to overlapped abstract
"contours" in order to communicate each image. Because it added a sort of
visceral excitement to my otherwise mainly intellectual process of image
construction, I concentrated mainly on nudes. And I enjoyed the
unconscious skills and repetitive practice involved in carving and printing
very much (there's a HUGE difference between being able to explain how to
do a perfect 3 1/2 somersault off the 3 meter board and actually being able
to pull one off). And there was a lot of give and take about technique and
materials on Baren which I always enjoyed (and benefitted from) very much!

Sometimes it seems that the butterfly effect (the flap of a Monarch wing in
Guatemala generates the hurricane off Florida) is so true... Those
'little' events which reverberate and harmonize and produce 'big' events:

On December 4, 2002, April Vollmer posted a call for entries to the
Norwalk, Connecticut Center for Contemporary Printmaking's "Miniature Print
Exchange" which piqued my interest. So, even though I normally did not
show or sell my work nor enter competitions at that time (if you're
curious, I sorta described why in an interview I gave to CIDTALK at
which displays some of my non-woodblock work) I sent off three little
prints and entered that competition. All my prints were REJECTED !! BUT
-- I received the kindest rejection letter from the Tony Kirk, the Master
Printer director of the Center:
"During our exhibitions I always put together an educational display
relating to the current exhibition. We have two glass vitrine cabinets for
this and they are placed in the corridor leading from the gallery to the
main print studios. I am going to place there some miniature prints from my
own collection including a woodcut by George Roualt and a wood engraving by
Thomas Bewick. I would like to buy your woodcut of the standing female nude
and include it in this display. I was wondering if you could send me a
description of your technique and the blocks so that I could include them
in the display. I already have two other artist members of our center
who have expressed an interest in buying it. Even although it is not
included in the juried show, I am confident that I can sell several
impressions for you.

"Let us hope that when the next miniature print competition rolls around in
two years that your submissions will be juried in and that you receive the
awards that your work merits. Meanwhile I am very pleased to own one of
your works. Please send the material for the display case to my attention
"We will soon be planning our summer workshop brochure which will include a
week long workshop in hanga printmaking by artist in residence Paul
Furneaux, the artist whose studio/workshop was destroyed in the Edinburgh
fire. Perhaps you would be interested in doing a similar workshop in the
fall/winter or in spring 2004?"
So, I was very flattered, and sent the materials (the Center subsequently
sold a dozen of my tiny prints) and that fall I led a week-long workshop
there. Also that fall, the Center had a major woodblock print show "Ink
from Wood" in their gallery (which is very nice) and my print of "Dana
Seated" was in that show along with prints by more established artists
including Chuck Close, Helen Frankenthaller, Karen Kunc, Neil Welliver,
Alex Katz, April Vollmer, and many others... Because of that workshop and
show, I was invited to teach last June at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in
Snowmass, Colorado. April 11-16, 2005 I will teach the THIRD workshop at
the Center (my 2nd workshop there had the largest participation of any
workshop they'd presented)!

All the above was the direct result of April's kind post to Baren! See
what I mean about the "Butterfly Effect"?

My Mom, Dad, sister, and I had decided to make our first nuclear family
(could be explosive!?) in the Fall of 2002. But Mom was diagnosed with
abdominal cancer and had some very large tumors removed in surgery and had
to undergo intense chemo-therapy (she remains cancer free today, by the
way). So we moved the trip back to January, and then delayed it again
until April, 2003 when she had recovered some of her strength. Dave Bull
had included one of my early 'photographic' reduction woodcuts, "Mother and
Child," in his annual exhibition in January, 2003 (in his "David's Choice"
section if prints from his personal collection) and that resulted in the
sale of another example of that print which was intended for exhibit only!

I contacted David Bull before our April, 2003 Japan vacation and had the
nerve to invite myself to his house for a visit. So I'd packed a batch of
my recent woodcuts to show to Dave in order to hear his thoughts and get a
critique (Dave couldn't have been kinder to my Dad and me that day, looking
over and talking about all my prints, showing his own, taking us out to
lunch -- it was wonderful).

A few days later we were in Kyoto and I was shopping in the art and antique
district. A Munich dealer friend had recommended Ezoshi in Kyoto as one of
the best sources for antique Japanese prints and while there, I found some
I liked. The gallery owner, Go Yamao, speaks English very well and we were
chatting about the prints when he asked me what I did "for a living." So I
uttered the Japanese words I'd learned on Baren Forum, "moku-hanga". Go
looked surprised and said he wished he could see some of my work -- he had
a computer in the office and an Internet browser was displayed, so I showed
him my web-site -- the "Mother and Child" print which Dave had displayed
was the first one up, and Go said, "oh... Well, that's not
moku-hanga... You see, "moku-hanga" means 'wood block print' ..." He
couldn't believe it was a woodblock print even after I assured him it
was... He said he wished he could see one of those "in person,"
and... Well I'd already shown my batch of prints to David so I told Go I'd
bring some for him to look at the next day.

The next day, Go looked over all the prints, pointing out those he liked
and those he did not and he bought two of them on the spot, "Mother and
Child" and "Blue Shoes" and began showing me catalogs of etchings by Ryohei
Tanaka and then photographs of Ryohei Tanaka with Go, other artists with
Go, and... well, out of the blue, Go said he'd like to show my work --
would I be interested? I was SO flattered and taken completely by surprise
and just said, "YES!" right away, but told him that it'd take me at least
18 months to assemble enough work (20 to 30 images) for a show. Then we
said goodbye.

That's about all there is to tell. Of course we had a lot of
correspondence back and forth about pricing and number of prints to send
and postcards and catalog and all that stuff, but the show was offered on
impulse during my visit and Go has been an absolute angel and terrific
mentor -- completely honoring all his promises, just as he'd said. I still
can hardly believe that he managed somehow to sell more than 50 of my
prints during the show!

In June, 2003, I hosted the first Baren Summit at my studio in Kansas City
-- that was a week long gathering of Baren woodblock artists from all over
the world (mostly all over the USA) and I was SO lucky to meet and get to
know many Bareners including: John Amoss, Maria Arango, Carole Baker, Dave
Bull, John Center, Jeanne Norman Chase, Colleen Corradi, Marco Flavio, John
Furr, Steve Goddard, Bea Gold, Mary Weimer Green, Janet K. Hollander, Ray
Hudson, Kent Kirkpatrick, Sharri LaPierre, Gary Luedtke, Mike Lyon, Carol
Lyons, Barbara Mason, Bobette McCarthy, Wanda Robertson, Julio Rodriguez,
Suzanne (Sue) Salsbury, Michael Schneider, Marilynn Smith, Richard
Stockham, Frank Trueba, April Vollmer, Bette Wappner, Gayle Wohlken, Aimee
Youmans, and Gilda Machado Zimmerling -- you can see our group photo and
read more about that here:

In honor of that gathering, Baren member Steve Goddard, the print curator
for the Spencer Museum in Lawrence, Kansas and his assistant, Cori Sherman
assembled a major print exhibition called "Inspired by Japan" and prints
from David Bull and the visiting baren members who'd participated in the
all-hanga exchange (mine among them) were exhibited alongside masterpieces
from the Spencer's collection. Wow!

Because I had to produce a cohesive body of work for the Ezoshi show, I
have had several other offers for shows -- one directly the result of April
Vollmer's having mentioned me while teaching one of her workshops last
summer: the upcoming exhibition of Japanese woodcuts at Union College in
the Burns Atrium Gallery January 10 - February 14, 2005 including work by
April Vollmer, Mike Lyon, Daniel Heyman, Yasu Shibata, Takuji Hamanaka,
Keiji Shinohara, Bill Paden and Suezan Aikins

So... THANK YOU BAREN !!! In large part I owe all these good things (and
more to come, I'm certain) to YOU !!

-- Mike

Mike Lyon
Kansas City, Missouri