Today's postings

  1. [Baren 29479] Recommended Print Book (ArtfulCarol #
  2. [Baren 29480] How did you discover woodblock printing? (Marissa)
  3. [Baren 29481] Re: How did you discover woodblock printing? (Dan Allegrucci)
  4. [Baren 29482] Thoughts on 'Speed drying' waterbased inks... (AGott26909 #
  5. [Baren 29483] Re: How did you discover woodblock printing? ("Ellen Shipley")
  6. [Baren 29484] Re: How did you discover woodblock printing? (Mike Lyon)
  7. [Baren 29485] Thoughts on 'Speed drying' waterbased inks... (Barbara Mason)
  8. [Baren 29486] Re: Thoughts on 'Speed drying' waterbased inks... (Julio.Rodriguez #
  9. [Baren 29487] Re: How did you discover woodblock printing? ("Roy")
  10. [Baren 29488] Re: Thoughts on 'Speed drying' waterbased inks... (FurryPressII #
  11. [Baren 29489] Sticking of paper to block. (Lynn Starun)
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Message 1
From: ArtfulCarol #
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 10:51:30 EST
Subject: [Baren 29479] Recommended Print Book
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This is a book called Japonisme: Cultural Crossings Between Japan and the
(Phaidon) edited by Lionel Lambourne. It is featured in Holiday Books:
Japanese Art NY Times , December 4. Lionel lambourne is a leading authority on
prints and anything he writes has sharp insights which you will appreciate.

Lionel Lambourne was the Head Print Curator of the Victoria and Albert
Museum, London. He was the first curator I met there and acquired two of my
prints for that Museum. We then shared art thoughts through a correspondence.
This was before e-mail. I was delighted to be taken for tea at the Museum
when he retired and gave me a tour of the Prints and Drawing area.

(This is not a paid announcement!)

I ordered the book from

Carol Lyons
Irvington, NY
( (
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Message 2
From: Marissa
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 13:06:49 -0500
Subject: [Baren 29480] How did you discover woodblock printing?
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I came into this art form rather randomly and I am interested in
hearing the stories of how others discovered this special art form.

I took printmaking in college but my attention was focused on
lithography. Lithography was the first type of printing I ever did
and I had a hard time straying from it. After school I wasn't able to
do lithography so my art didn't go anywhere for a few years. Then a
friend gave me a woodblock printmaking kit from McClain's. My first
print went terribly, I got discouraged and while interested I left it
alone for a few months. My next print wasn't anything special but it
was a lot better. That was about the time that I took a printmaking
course at MassArt. It was labeled as a general printmaking class, but
as it turned out the focus was woodblock printing. I learned a lot of
techniques that made my work improve quickly, expanded my tool
collection, and have been hooked ever since. That was six months ago.
I don't really miss lithography anymore.

Your turn.

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Message 3
From: Dan Allegrucci
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 11:21:12 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 29481] Re: How did you discover woodblock printing?
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I took "Intaglio & Relief I" in college. As soon as I cut my first block (a self portrait from the mirror, 1/4 inch birch ply with Speedball linocut tool!) I knew I'd found my calling. After that, I designated printmaking as my concentration for my art major. The rest, as they say, is history! I have since found better tools for the birch :)
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Message 4
From: AGott26909 #
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 16:17:27 EST
Subject: [Baren 29482] Thoughts on 'Speed drying' waterbased inks...
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I have been doing some experimentation in the past month, and have a few
questions- Perhaps someone else has dealt with this in the past.

Recently, I have broadened my horizons, and have been working on a lot more
multicolor reductions. I really enjoy the challenge and planning involved in
the process, but have one MAJOR obstacle in my way- TIME. I have limited time
in the studio, as I work on a ship for a living, and am only home for one
month stretches. This usually isn't a problem with single color prints, as I can
run an edition, put it on the drying rack, and forget about it- But with
reductions, things are different.

I switched to using waterbased (Daniel Smith and/or Graphic Chemical brand)
inks, which of course saves me DAYS in drying time. But, I was still finding
that it would take 3-4 days sometimes for a color to dry enough to print on
top, even with the waterbased inks. When I start talking 10-15 color
reductions, I just plain run out of time!

So I got to thinking- Perhaps I could 'force' dry it somehow- Something like
a heated/dehumidified drying rack, with proper air circulation... Some
'experiments' showed that it could be done- and I could dry a print in a few
hours, even.

But- I began to wonder- Are there any ill effects to the artwork?? Has
anyone 'force dried' their prints, and had problems later with the inks not
adhering to the paper, or to the previous ink?? I would HATE to put all that work
into a reduction cut only to see it flake off the paper or something a few
months down the line...

Any additional input/tips on reducing drying time would be greatly

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Message 5
From: "Ellen Shipley"
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 13:25:13 -0800
Subject: [Baren 29483] Re: How did you discover woodblock printing?
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When our son went off to college my husband registered me for classes at the
community college in self defense -- before I could make a project out of
*him*. I decided on art classes 'cuz I'd never taken any. I stumbled into
printmaking because I liked the teacher and he was trying to fill the class.

That was 7 classes ago! Monotype, drypoint, intaglio, aquatint, woodcut --
clearly my favorite. I like it all tho. I knew I was hooked the day I
moved my loom into the corner of my studio to make room for my press. 8-]

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Message 6
From: Mike Lyon
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 16:55:54 -0600
Subject: [Baren 29484] Re: How did you discover woodblock printing?
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Marissa wrote:

>I came into this art form rather randomly and I am interested in
>hearing the stories of how others discovered this special art form.

I'd made some woodcuts while in high school and loved it! Here's an
example of a 1968 two-color woodcut which became the cover of the
school's Helicon literary magazine that year: -- this was probably my
5th or 6th relief print and the first I recall with multiple blocks
and multiple drops to make a sort of pattern. A few years later I
became an architecture and fine arts major at the University of
Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (sculpture major) and studied mostly
with Frederic Osborne, but also with Rackstraw Downes, Bob Engman and
Neil Welliver. I took my first 'real' printmaking course -- intaglio
mainly -- there and was drawn to it... After graduation, I moved
back to Kansas City where I studied painting with Wilbur Niewald and
drawing with Wilbur and with Stanley Lewis for a few more years. A
year later I became a biz-weeny for 15 years or so, returning to
making 'art' full-time around 1991 -- mostly painting and
press-pulled monotypes until 1996 when I became 'obsessed' with
Japanese woodblock printmaking... Actually, I'd been attracted to
things Japanese since childhood and was particularly interested in
Zen, but never much involved in Zen-centric stuff until 1984 when I
began to practice Shotokan Karate with real intensity. That was my
first experience with any genuine "Practice" and now my life is full
of it (Practice) with several parallel such pursuits -- karate,
moku-hanga, violin -- maybe full to overflowing!

Anyway, back to how I 'discovered' moku-hanga -- I took a three-week
long workshop at Anderson Ranch taught by the very kind artist and
teacher, Hiroki Morinue from Hawaii. Then another two week long
workshop with him a few years later (or was the first one two weeks
and the second one three weeks -- I'm having another senior moment, I
think)... Anyway, five weeks of 14 hour workdays in total. And I
was already pretty hooked, but still making lots of monotypes and
lithographs and a little bit of painting (and tons of furniture and
other woodworking stuff)... Around 2000, I stumbled across David
Bull and BarenForum, and I suppose my participation in the Baren
exchanges gave me a lot of incentive to practice -- also David Bull
was both challenging and encouraging with his constructive criticism
and great suggestions...

More and more of my time was spent carving and printing moku-hanga
and a couple of years ago my Mom and Dad treated me and my sister to
our first all-together family vacation in 30 some years! They took
us to Japan and it was SO FANTASTIC!! My Dad and I visited David
Bull at his Tokyo home and showed prints and talked and talked --
fabulous and most generous host! I'd started collecting Japanese
prints in a serious way in the mid-1990's, too (a close friend from
karate, John Teramoto is a curator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art,
and after seeing the prints I'd made during the Hiroki Morinue
workshop, he suggested I begin 'collecting'). A dealer friend in
Munich, Gottfried Ruetz recommended that while in Japan, I ought to
visit a Kyoto art dealer, Go Yamao, who operates a beautiful and
upscale gallery called Ezoshi. Turns out that Yamao-san is one of
the 'best' dealers in Japan and widely known and respected, but I
didn't know that at the time of my visit. In his shop I looked at
some of the most beautiful prints -- he was hanging a special
exhibition of real masterpieces of Ukiyo-e and I was WOWED! We got
to talking and Go asked me what I did for a living and I answered
that I was an artist and that I made moku-hanga. He was surprised
and since he had in Internet connection, I showed him an image of one
of my prints which had been completed for a Baren exchange -- "Mother
and Child" and Go said
that I was mistaken -- then he patiently explained that 'moku-hanga'
meant woodblock print -- he said he didn't know what my image was,
but it certainly was NOT a woodcut! As I'd brought that print and
several others to show to David Bull, I told him I'd bring them with
me the next day. He looked through all the prints, bought two
("Mother and Child" and "Blue Shoes") on the spot and offered me a
solo show of 'work like that'... I told him it'd take me at least a
year and a half to produce sufficient work for that kind of show and
he said that'd be fine... So when I returned home, I went to work
and sent Go two of each print as I completed them.

The show of my work at Ezoshi in Kyoto was in October, 2004 and all
65 prints were sold! I was totally amazed, and of course I'd spent
ALL my time printing, printing, printing in preparation, so by now,
it's about ALL I do in the way of art. After the Ezoshi show, my
work was picked up by several Internet galleries, and one of the
three best contemporary art galleries in Kansas City began to show my
stuff, too. That's the Sherry Leedy Gallery, and Sherry has
encouraged me to work BIG for an exhibition there scheduled for next
fall... Which is why I've been struggling so intensely with the BIG
press and associated stuff, all finally within spitting distance of
completion and looks like it'll work just fine...

So that's the 'short' version of how _I_ 'discovered' moku-hanga, I
suppose! Baren and David Bull played a HUGE role!



Mike Lyon
Kansas City, Missouri
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Message 7
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 15:36:40 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 29485] Thoughts on 'Speed drying' waterbased inks...
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the main problem you will face is the change in size of the paper. I think air circulation and normal room temp, say 70-80 degrees will not harm the paper in any way...more heat than that might cause you problems. You are using inks that are opaque in nature, and I assume putting several layers of color over some areas....One problem you might face is one layer way down at the beginning just not drying well and causing later problems. I would contact the manufacturer of the ink and ask them...they will know what their ink can stand as far as drying.

One thing you can do that will help a lot is to blot your do this, take a piece of newsprint and lay it over the printed image, rub over the print from one side to the other with the side of your hand, being very careful not to let the newsprint shift. This will help dry the prints as it is taking off any excess ink that is not "into" the paper. I have found this helps a lot. The other thing you can do is put dryer in the ink. Again, ask the manufacturer what to use and how much, then you can probably use a tiny bit more. They always err on the side of major safety.

If you are using damp paper at any time and need to keep it, wrap up the whole pile in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer. We know this works as several of us have done it.
Best to you,
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Message 8
From: Julio.Rodriguez #
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 18:15:12 -0600
Subject: [Baren 29486] Re: Thoughts on 'Speed drying' waterbased inks...
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You probably don't want to hear this but switching to Japanese moku-hanga
would permit you to work faster...because the pigments go into the paper
as compare to sitting on top...moku-hanga printers can go from one
impression right unto the next w/o waiting for drying could
probably even take a small printing kit with you on the boat....

If you are using Graphic Chemical products, Dean Clark is a member here
and can answer your questions regarding
drying time and dryers.....

good luck....Julio
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Message 9
From: "Roy"
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 17:14:08 -0700
Subject: [Baren 29487] Re: How did you discover woodblock printing?
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In the 1960's I bought a little accordion book showing the steps in making a
Horunobu print for a dollar. I kept it on a bottom book shelf for years.
pet rabbit even nibbled at it a bit.) About two years ago I kept going by
the printmaking lab on my way to drawing classes and finally decided to find
out what went on in there by taking Printmaking I. It involved monotype and
several kinds of relief printing. One assignment was to do a report on an
artist we thought special, so I brought out my Horunobu print booklet and
some research. I then tried several relief methods, and got hooked on the
one that did not need a press and used water soluble pigments so I could
work at home, discovered [Baren], and here I am trying to fit in with the
big boys and girls in a moku hanga exchange. I am retired so can cherish
those hours of concentration carving, paper making, printing, etc.

Roy Leroux
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Message 10
From: FurryPressII #
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 20:01:49 EST
Subject: [Baren 29488] Re: Thoughts on 'Speed drying' waterbased inks...
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with oil based ink and reduction prints put it japan dryer you should be
able to print the second color in a couple of hours. You can also add 'dull
it' if you don't like glossy ink.

john c.
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Message 11
From: Lynn Starun
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 19:52:56 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 29489] Sticking of paper to block.
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Greetings All,

I've been working away on printing my Christmas cards
and having an embarassing number of problems. My
first batch weren't so hot. I was getting ink in
places it shouldn't be so now I'm being much more
methodical and wiping the kento areas. I decided the
paper, which I think I bought from McClains but didn't
mark, was too flimsy to handle easily. So I found
something called Hosho Professional and it seems to be
working out better or else I'm getting more
coordinated and calm. My latest problem came when I
had to quit printing and transfer the operation from
the studio to my home. I read that I shouldn't stop
midway but it was an hour and a half before I
continued and I'm having trouble with the paper
sticking to the block and sort of leaving a fine layer
of fiber on the block which sort of gets loosened by
the next paste and ink application--at first I
couldn't figure out where these little pills of inky
fiber were coming from but now I can see why. I had
re- dampened my block. Maybe the paper was getting
too dry so I dampened it more. Could it be the ratio
of paste to ink or does my paste need to be looser?
Yikes, too many variables!!!!

I went to the baren forum encyclopedia but couldn't
find anwhere that addressed paper sticking to the
block. Was I supposed to put sizing on it? Family
members are making "helpful" remarks like that I'm
devoting too much time to this and maybe I should just
get one and scan it. Hmmph! The more I fail the more
I want to make it work. Is there good
advice/description somewhere of what I should be
aiming for with the paste and ink.