Today's postings

  1. [Baren 36449] Re: “printing western method“ - Reduction ("Amie Roman")
  2. [Baren 36450] RE: New Baren Digest (Text) V44 #4466 (Aug 7, 2008) (Linda Beeman)
  3. [Baren 36451] Re: [Baren 36435] Re: [Baren 36435] Re: "printing western method" ("claudiacoonen")
  4. [Baren 36452] Re: question on registration for Western style printing ("")
  5. [Baren 36453] Re: cutting paper and deckling ("claudiacoonen")
  6. [Baren 36454] Re: question on registration for Western style printing ( slinders #
  7. [Baren 36455] Re: question on registration for Western style printing (Charles Morgan)
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Message 1
From: "Amie Roman"
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 10:44:59 -0700
Subject: [Baren 36449] Re: “printing western method“ - Reduction
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I've been lurking for some time, and finally have something to say!

I actually find multiple block carving to be a bit beyond my scope of
thinking, and almost exclusively use reduction. Here are some of my

1. Complexity - it's a great puzzle to figure out the best path to your end
2. Depth of colour - layers of colour, like glazing in a painting, I think
are more sophisticated than blocks of colour that have no physical
interaction other than sitting beside each other.
3. Registration - as Marissa said, using one block, I can keep lining it up
the same way each time.

Definitely check out Natalia's work as mentioned. It's spectacular.

That said, I've never done *moku hanga* and it's kind of a mystery to me.
But don't at least some *moku hanga* artists utilize reduction in their

Here's the link for anyone who's interested for the registration method that
Marissa mentioned:


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Message 2
From: Linda Beeman
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 13:47:12 -0400
Subject: [Baren 36450] RE: New Baren Digest (Text) V44 #4466 (Aug 7, 2008)
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Thank you everyone for the welcome. I think when I asked what people use for pigments I really should have asked, "Tell me about yourself!" You all seem to know one another and I don't have a clue what you work in. I would visit all your blogs and websites but, alas and heavy sigh, I still have dial-up. (remember I said rural Michigan?) It would take until next year to see all your work.

I personally am using watercolor and Akua Kolor. I have spent years with ink and love the look, feel, smell, etc. but we just moved and I have very little space at this time. I've been using watercolor for plein air so it wasn't an extra expense to use it on my blocks. I like the ease of it and especially the clean up!

Reduction blocks - I think they are a mental challenge and I really like doing them. Really, really like doing them!!

Now my joy of the day! My new baren just came that I ordered thru the Baren Mall. I had one of the less expensive ones from McClains and had the opportunity to use a really good one recently. There was a huge difference (to me) in the feel and in my prints. I am having a giggle over my invoice though. At least I think it's the invoice. It might be how to use and care for's all in Japanese! I think I'll frame it!
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Message 3
From: "claudiacoonen"
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 07:38:10 -1000
Subject: [Baren 36451] Re: [Baren 36435] Re: "printing western method"
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Reduction prints are just another vehicle for a limited edition print. Yes it is cerebral. I don't do it much , but I highly respect it, check out for a taste.

claudia g. coonen
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Message 4
From: ""
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 13:52:19 -0400
Subject: [Baren 36452] Re: question on registration for Western style printing
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I print western style, using a brayer and a press. I have a
hard time getting precise registration when I need it

Amanda, if you go to a Graphic Supply house you can get Register
pins; they're used in the printing industry so a printer could help
you locate them. They are thin flat metal rectangles that have a
short (ca 1/8") cylinder, the pin, on top; there's a good photo at:

The pins are taped on a bar at one end of the press - a bar about
the same height as the plate works best- then you use a paper punch
to punch holes on one edge of your sheet. You position the holes onto
the pins then every time you put the paper back onto the pins it's in
exactly the same spot.

You need to be able to lock your plate into exactly the same spot
each time you remove and replace it. Once you have these two elements
in place you can register multiple colours easily and as long as your
paper isn't too flimsy you get perfect register colour after colour.
If lock in your key plate, black for instance, pull a proof onto
coated stock then replace the key plate with an uncarved plate you
can make an impression on it by running the coated sheet through
again to transfer the image. Because your sheet and plate are in the
same fixed positions the register is bang on.

If you're using oil or rubber based inks then dusting the second and
subsequent plates with baby powder can help speed the drying times,
those inks take forever and ever to dry on surfaces that aren't
terribly porous. Rub it in lightly and it's almost immediately dry.
If you're married and male, tell your wife why you're going to smell
like baby powder before you do this. Trust me on that.

If it's a flatbed press that touches the paper at one end then moves
the length of it rather than coming down evenly you should have the
pins at the end that touches first. This pulls the paper away from
the pins rather pushing it towards the pins then binding. The pull is
very slight and shouldn't stretch your punched holes.

Feel free to contact me off line if you have any questions.


Clive Lewis
519 841-1785
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Message 5
From: "claudiacoonen"
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 08:02:31 -1000
Subject: [Baren 36453] Re: cutting paper and deckling
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to my understanding....Back in the olden days Moku Hnaga prints were very common and they were a kin to posters. There is such volumnes of some that still many years later they are quite inexpensive> I learned this during the Wood Skin and Ink conference--- It was incrediable with the links between tatoos and woodblock...
Scrolls were frequently paintings, caligraphy and sometimes prints, they are changed seasonally,
but maybe David needs to chime in here...

claudia g. coonen
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Message 6
From: slinders #
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2008 13:19:11 -0500
Subject: [Baren 36454] Re: question on registration for Western style printing
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Welcome, Linda, and others new to the list!

Clive, good suggestions on using the pins for registration.

You haven't mentioned the paper you are using. (...and are you
printing on dampened paper? I expect that you are.)

Most 'western' papers (BFK, Arches, etc.) have a lot of stretch
in them, and putting them through your rollers blank
(calendaring them) will allow them to get the stretch part taken
care of before they touch ink. It will surely make good
registration more reliable. A paper that is uncalendared can
stretch upwards of 1/4" with a twelve inch paper.

Calendar your papers, and remember to get the same amount of
dampening again in each sheet each time you send it through the

So many variables!

(What a fun day! Great links to wonderful prints and
printmakers, exciting methods and remarkable colors! Many, many
thanks to Dave for this resource and connections to such
valuable friends!)
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Message 7
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 14:36:06 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 36455] Re: question on registration for Western style printing
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I make my own registration pins. I use thin plexiglass tabs, about 2 x .5 inches. Cut your tabs from old, broken CD cases ... or cut them from discarded CDs. Then glue short stubs of 1/4 inch (6 mm) diameter plexiglass rod at one end of each tab. You could also make them of wood, using wooden dowel and thin wooden tabs. I prefer the plexiglass because it is stronger and easier to keep clean. You could also make your own tabs from sheet metal tabs (cut up old cans) and metal rod ... I have seen them made in brass, and they look quite neat. Solder the rod stubs to the tabs or use epoxy.

Standard 2, and 3 hole punches sold for use in offices punch holes that are 1/4 inch or 6 mm in diameter. I buy 3 hole punches cheaply ($1 or less) at second hand stores. The registration is better the further apart the holes are. For really large paper, just make a punch board by screwing down a couple of 2 hole punches onto a piece of plank ... then your holes can be placed far apart, but always the same distance apart. (This idea was "stolen" from Nik Semenoff at U. of Saskatoon!)

I use a large piece of plexiglass as a sliding bed and use double backed tape to attach a slat at one end of the sliding bed the same thickness as my blocks. Then I tape my registration pins to that slat, rather than to the press bed. I tape down pieces of matboard to the sliding bed to position the block. To print, I ink the block, position it on the sliding bed, place the paper on the pins, and set the whole thing onto the bed of the press and run it through. The only advantage to the sliding board is that I can use the press for other things if I need to wait for ink to dry between blocks.

If at the beginning of your run you punch all your paper in the same place using a standard 3 hole punch, you only need to set your pins once, and your registration will be fine for the entire run.

Clive's technique for transferring the key block design to subsequent blocks works great with pin registration.

For a VERY LOW TECH METHOD, just get two wooden slats, the same thickness as your block. Get a couple of nails with good heads, 1/4 to 1/2 inch longer than the thickness of your block. Clamp your two slats together, and drive the nails through one slat and into the other, one at each end of the slat. If the slats have a tendency to split, use a drill smaller in diameter than your nails and drill pilot holes. Carefully pry the slats apart, leaving the nails sticking out of one of the slats. Use a drill a bit larger in diameter than the nails to drill out the holes in the slat without the nails.

To use: First you need to punch each piece of paper along one edge. Place the slat with the nails pointing up on a good surface. Position a sheet of paper over the nails, and use the other slat to press the paper down over the nails. Carefully remove the paper, and continue with the other sheets. After the paper is all punched, you can tape the slat with the nails to the bed of the press or to a sliding bed and use it directly instead of registration pins.

The "nails and slats" technique seems a bit crude, but it works very well, costs almost nothing, and you can do it anywhere you do not have access to more sophisticated equipment.

Cheers .... Charles