Today's postings

  1. [Baren 28791] Baren Tying is Easy ("Tom Kristensen")
  2. [Baren 28792] My stuff ("Roy")
  3. [Baren 28793] Re:monkey print mystery/ next exchange? (carole baker)
  4. [Baren 28794] Re:monkey print mystery/ next exchange? (Wanda Robertson)
  5. [Baren 28795] Re: Anyone Using a Disk Baren? (Julio.Rodriguez #
  6. [Baren 28796] Re: My stuff (Wanda Robertson)
  7. [Baren 28797] Barens (cucamongie #
  8. [Baren 28798] Re: My stuff - flash demo (Julio.Rodriguez #
  9. [Baren 28799] Re: Anyone Using a Disk Baren? (Julio.Rodriguez #
  10. [Baren 28800] Re: My stuff ("Mindy Wilson")
  11. [Baren 28801] Re: Disk Baren (Annie Bissett)
  12. [Baren 28802] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
  13. [Baren 28803] Re: Disk Baren (Wanda Robertson)
  14. [Baren 28804] sore knuckles (Barbara Mason)
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Message 1
From: "Tom Kristensen"
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 00:10:19 +1000
Subject: [Baren 28791] Baren Tying is Easy
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Annie asks if there is away to make her bamboo sheath covered baren feel more comfortable to use. It could be that the baren has become loose or worn and needs to be retied. After tying a baren a couple of times you will find that there is a fit that will suit you best. It is really not hard to do, but you would do well to order some bamboo sheaths from the barenmall and start from scratch. You can read back through the archives and get all the various tips, but I think the simplest thing to do is to follow a live demonstration given by master printer Noboru Sawai. This can be found in Graham Schole's How-To Video that has recently surfaced. The video/DVD covers a multitude of woodblock techniques and is the most condensed source of tips that I have yet seen. Highly recommended.

Tom in Australia
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Message 2
From: "Roy"
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 11:28:25 -0700
Subject: [Baren 28792] My stuff
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I've been lurking a while now, but am now risking exposure.

See my attempts at I made a website rather than

I would appreciate any comments, suggestions or criticisms.
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Message 3
From: carole baker
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 10:28:34 -0800
Subject: [Baren 28793] Re:monkey print mystery/ next exchange?
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Way back whenever and before I switched from my PC to a Mac and lost
all my emails and address book, I had promised to send one of my monkey
prints to someone for a friend who wanted one. I thought it was Carol
Wagner in California, but isn't.
i think the California is right....maybe a different Carol? Let me
know if you are still around.
Still hoping to find out more about the next print exchange.

Carole Baker
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Message 4
From: Wanda Robertson
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 14:12:43 -0700
Subject: [Baren 28794] Re:monkey print mystery/ next exchange?
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Carole, I would be glad to sign you up if it's a hanga exchange & not
sign you up if it isn't. :-)

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Message 5
From: Julio.Rodriguez #
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 11:17:26 -0500
Subject: [Baren 28795] Re: Anyone Using a Disk Baren?
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Hi Annie,

The Disk baren from McClains that you describe does not use a takenokawa
(bamboo sheath covering) and you mention moku-hanga so I am assuming you
are using it with water based pigments. I'll start off by mentioning that
professional printers use different size & styles of barens for each
special task.

The gomazuri effect is usually controlled by the amount of paste that is
added on the block to mix with the pigment. No paste or too little paste
for the area to be printed and gomazuri results. Also if your pigment is
too 'runny' a similar condition can occur. The right amount of paste
needed to obtain gomazuri-free printing depends on many things....the size
of the area to be printed, the paper you are using, the type and size of
brush (the brush holds the paste/pigment mix) and of course the pigments
you are using. I would try adding more paste to the block until you see a
difference. Here is a quote from the Yoshida book on the Baren book

"When paste is mixed with pigment, the print shows a clear, uniform, deep
colouring. Without it, the colour on the print is likely to give a porous
effect, a dry, granular texture, known as goma (sesame). As long as the
colour in the brush is sufficient, the starch paste is not added. It is
added only when fresh pigment is put on the brush or on the block."

Link to quote above and more paste info: )

I also think large areas of smooth flat color are normally difficult to
achieve by hand-printing. This can be strenuous and proper stance is
needed to get enough pressure to cover the paper smoothly. Printers
sometimes use two or more impressions to build up the color and cover all
the paper. Old timers like Unichi Hiratsuka would some time use up to ten
impressions to create those deep black areas you see in his large prints.
See half-way thru paragraph three:

Here is a great article by Dave Bull on the proper use of the baren, near
the end there is an explanation on the fine circular motion needed to
create smooth color. This is very important to achieve smooth printing.

And since you are using a baren from McClain's; here is an article
originally published by McClain's that goes into detail about traditional
baren construction. Special attention on how different baren types are
used to create different results. Article by Bill Paden reproduced by

good luck.....Julio Rodriguez (Skokie, Illinois)
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Message 6
From: Wanda Robertson
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 14:58:07 -0700
Subject: [Baren 28796] Re: My stuff
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Nice prints, Roy! I especially liked the two women printed in 3
colors. The ballerina in hanga was pretty darned good for a first
attempt at hanga! Keep up the good work.

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Message 7
From: cucamongie #
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 18:26:18 -0400
Subject: [Baren 28797] Barens
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Annie, my 2 cents on the disk baren. I started out with this baren when I began hanga, and it is fine for small areas or lines, etc but if you want a disk that will give you nice smooth flat areas, I suggest the ball bearing baren. It's a bit pricey but worth every single penny. I have two that I bought from McClain's (one for larger areas with fewer bearings and one for fine lines with more ball bearings), and they are great! I know some folks on the list have ball bearing barens they bought through the Baren mall (Barbara, where are yours from?), so they can tell you about those.

Happy printing!
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Message 8
From: Julio.Rodriguez #
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 17:34:21 -0500
Subject: [Baren 28798] Re: My stuff - flash demo
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Hi Roy,

Welcome to Baren, glad you came out of 'lurking', thanks for sharing the
print images in your website. I too liked the ballerina print.....are you
using Speedball
pigments or what other brand ? I would suggest perhaps a little more
intense pigment and/or perhaps a little more paste. Try printing multiple
impressions to obtain a deeper color. Loved the image and the
composition. You don't mention your location ?

Thanks also for the link to the great flash presentation on traditional
Japanese printmaking, I had not seen that before and it's very complete
and well made...with
much detail info usually passed over in most presentations.

thanks again......Julio Rodriguez (Skokie, Illinois)
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Message 9
From: Julio.Rodriguez #
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 13:34:40 -0500
Subject: [Baren 28799] Re: Anyone Using a Disk Baren?
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oops....looks like I duplicated one of my links on the previous email.
The actual link to Dave's article on how to use and rub the baren can be
found here:

Because the Disc baren does not have a traditional grip but rather a
plastic handle, it may differ from the article on how you go about holding
this tool while printing, however, the bottom article that talks about
'rubbing' is key in obtaining smooth full color.

sorry.....Julio Rodriguez
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Message 10
From: "Mindy Wilson"
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 17:29:56 -0600
Subject: [Baren 28800] Re: My stuff
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Great work Roy, thanks for sharing.

Mindy Wilson
SCBWI Member sample images of many genres visual blog

Voted in top ten artist's watch favorites of 2003
Author of In a Parrot's Shoes illustrated by Ed Woodward III
Illustrator for The Halloween Tree written by Tina Roark
found here: under the children's section.
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Message 11
From: Annie Bissett
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 21:41:16 -0400
Subject: [Baren 28801] Re: Disk Baren
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Barbara, I wish I could come and watch you print that 17x22-inch lino block!
I'm hoping to work fairly large once I get the hang of this moku hanga
thing, so it sounds like I'll need to put a ball-bearing baren on my
Christmas list.

I wonder if part of the problem I'm having with the disk baren is that I'm
using Rives paper. This baren is probably designed for use on washi. I'll be
using washi for my exchange print, so I'll try it again then.

I know just what you mean about "feeling" the block. You really can feel it
through the bamboo baren. I got my bamboo baren from Woodblock Matsumura.
It's a really nice baren from what I can tell, but after 100 impressions or
so my knuckles start to hurt. Maybe I need to lean back more onto my palm,
but I'm trying to keep the baren even as I rub.

I won't even mention my aching tricep. I don't think there's any kind of
baren that can make up for my weak arms!

Annie B
Northampton MA
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Message 12
From: Blog Manager
Date: 24 Sep 2005 03:55:02 -0000
Subject: [Baren 28802] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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This is an automatic update message being sent to [Baren] by the forum blog software.

The following new entries were found on the listed printmaker's websites during the past 24 hours. (8 sites checked, just before midnight Eastern time)


Site Name: Woodblock Dreams

Author: Annie B
Item: My Own Worst Enemy


[Baren] members: if you have a printmaking blog (or a website with a published ATOM feed), and wish it to be included in this daily checklist, please write to the Baren Blog Manager at:
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Message 13
From: Wanda Robertson
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 20:54:49 -0700
Subject: [Baren 28803] Re: Disk Baren
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Something else that hasn't been mentioned is that those pesky lines
(well, pesky when you *don't* want them) show up when the moisture
content in your paper isn't quite right. Too wet or too dry. Aren't
they called baren-suji?

I have one of the plastic disc barens - but the handle seems to sit up
too high for me to use it efficiently. With the bamboo barens - you do
need to have most of the pressure on your palm & perhaps your handle is
not tight enough to keep your knuckles from slipping & rubbing on the
top of the baren platform. Eventually, your arms & hands will get used
to it though. Just keep on!

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Message 14
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 22:01:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 28804] sore knuckles
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When you use the baren, think about applying pressure with the heel of your hand and not your fingers. You will get callus on your knuckles if you push with your fingers. Once you get used to putting the pressure on the heel you will be less tired. Also if you tilt the block away from you at an angle, (most tables for printing are tilted) you will be less tired. If you can get your shoulder into the work instead of your forarm it will help. You shoulder should almost be over the work, so if you are sitting at a westrn table, try using a lower one so you can center your body more over your work.
Keep printing..I like your work.
Best to you,