Today's postings

  1. [Baren 36957] Latest prints ("Harry French")
  2. [Baren 36958] Re: Latest prints (Sue Woollatt)
  3. [Baren 36959] RE: too much noise ("Maria Arango")
  4. [Baren 36960] Re: cork ("Maria Arango")
  5. [Baren 36961] future exchange schedule (eli griggs)
  6. [Baren 36962] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4535 (Sep 17, 2008) (Marilynn Smith)
  7. [Baren 36963] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4535 (Sep 17, 2008) (Marilynn Smith)
  8. [Baren 36964] RE: future exchange schedule ("Mike Lyon")
  9. [Baren 36965] Re: future exchange schedule (Graham Scholes)
  10. [Baren 36966] Exchange Schedule and Exchange #39 ("Maria Arango")
  11. [Baren 36967] RE: Exchange Schedule and Exchange #39 ("Mike Lyon")
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Message 1
From: "Harry French"
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 14:19:53 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36957] Latest prints
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Greetings to you all,
I've not been posting since my computer meltdown in July so I have uploaded
all my latest 12 prints at once. Most of them have an underlying theme of
fantastic beasts that I sketch in churches and museums. It sounds rather
academic, but I hope my prints are as naive as the creatures I transcribe.
Best Wishes
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Message 2
From: Sue Woollatt
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 14:27:42 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36958] Re: Latest prints
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Great prints, Harry. I particularly like the wife about to banjo her

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Message 3
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 16:04:25 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36959] RE: too much noise
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In internet groups as in academics they say, "the politics are so fierce
because the stakes are so low..."

Vote noted. Thank you!


†††††† Maria Arango

††† I am still a rare poster to the forum but will add my contribution.†
Lighten up.† With so many real conflicts and important issues in the world
both near and far, a Moku-Hanga only exchange ranks very low as a possible
source of friction or conflict.† The exchanges are voluntary.† If you don't
like a wrong-paper side only exchange, or the white paper only exchange, or
the invisible ink exchange.....skip it and vote on the next one.† Or go to
your studio/living room/garage and do a print with an exchange of 1.
†† I was hoping to jump in and do my first exchange this go around.† I
started doing M-H, water-based prints because it's portable, non-toxic
(mostly), challenging (you should see my last disaster), and uses great
materials (wood, paper, rice, ground pigments, neat little knives and
gouges).†† If the theme doesn't inspire me or a technique is requested that
I don't do and that I am not interested enough to try...I'll skip it.
†† This is a postiive place where artists share ideas, techniques, tips,
their work both successful and not.† If you want conflict try moving back in
with your parents.
P.S. I vote self portrait or trees.
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Message 4
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 16:05:09 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36960] Re: cork
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Yep, using birch or cherry for the key block.
I actually have my Cork Studionote almost ready to upload later today.

I transfer key block to cork block using stiff transparency such as for
projector presentations (well, before PowerPoint).
I print the key block onto the transparency sheet usually with waterbased
ink. The transparent sheet is pinned down.
Then lift transparency, remove key block, slip the cork block into the
registration jig, and transfer carved image to cork block.

I usually transfer to several blank cork blocks even though I will only use
This is because the cork is fragile and prone to crumbling and
carving/cutting errors.
The cork blocks are easy to cut with x-acto knives and therefore very
suitable for "puzzle" color blocks. They are not easy to carve. If the cork
is thin, I glue to a backing board to give it stiffness and the right height
for printing--the same height, ideally, as the key block.
I get cork squares online or locally at craft stores and roll cork from fine
woodworking stores; I think it's used for backing and dampening vibration.

When printing, cork acts like a sponge, whether using water or oil inks, and
collects ink between the grains. This tends to accumulate and then pop out
when pressure is applied so it gives very interesting effects. This also
means that the cork block has to be completely cleaned off every ten prints
or more often, otherwise the grain fills up completely and the grainy effect
is gone.
You can also spritz the cork (if using waterbased inks) with water and get
an effect much like watercolor. After a few practice prints, the effect is
actually quite consistent and controllable throughout the edition.

Anyhow, as I said, I will upload pictures of cork blocks and latest corky
prints by the end of day. I think.


†††††† Maria Arango
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Message 5
From: eli griggs
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 16:44:47 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36961] future exchange schedule
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Maria, on the subject of hanga/oil only exchanges, I
personally like the idea Mike put forth on rotation,
though I'd like to suggest every third exchange be
dedicated to one or the other ie. mixed, mixed, hanga,
mixed, mixed, oil...

I don't know where the hanga printmakers stand but if
water-based ink prints are included in the hanga
exchanges that would ensure that no segment of Baren
would be excluded.

If the current scheme of open, theme, paper size is
kept on track for the mixed exchanges, then the same
type rotations could be used for each dedicated
technique exchange.

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Message 6
From: Marilynn Smith
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 17:28:17 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36962] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4535 (Sep 17, 2008)
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Hi again,

It seems many have missed it. Maria stated that one exchange in four,
that would be one exchange each year, would be all Hanga. Yes, I
think that is a major change in our exchanges. I like the idea of all
hanga and I like the idea of all oil as part of the exchange theme. I
simply dislike the idea of a new rule that says so many will be water
based and so many oil based and so on. I do not want the exchanges to
change. I like to see our coordinator throw in something extra
besides just a theme, it does help us learn new things. And, there
have been many great ideas.

All black and white
white line
use a metllaic pigment
a small part be chine colle or collage, keeping the main event woodblock
Cut a wood block and use a stencil too
How about using an overall background that is water based pigment and
printing another block on top that is oil pigment?
All hanga
All oil

These ideas could be used in combination with our regular themed or
unthemed exchanges. It would push many of us to try new things,
including water or oil. I just hate to see us designate a specific
number of exchanges to all water or all oil. To me it is not about
whether this next exchange should be all hanga. IT IS ABOUT WHETHER

That said, I would be happy with all hanga for this next exchange.
Not sure I want to be a tree, but it might be fun to try, a watery
tree at that.
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Message 7
From: Marilynn Smith
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 17:42:27 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36963] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4535 (Sep 17, 2008)
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Oh Maria, I love your bottle jack press, I want one!

Sorry for the second post. I just want to add, my difference in
opinion concerning the exchanges is not personal at all. Maria is
awesome, I appreciate her very much.
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Message 8
From: "Mike Lyon"
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 18:27:01 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36964] RE: future exchange schedule
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I 'officially' withdraw 'my idea' for rotation -- it doesn't 'rotate'!
Eli's 'improvement' rotates even less.

I suggest that we continue to, just for the FUN of it, make an occasional
all-hanga exchange -- at least one every few years when the time feels
right? If the oily majority feel marginalized by that, then let's simply
have a segregated exchange (oil for the proletariats and hanga for the
literati :o)

I suggest that hanga-only exchanges NOT include single-block prints -- an
important benefit of moku-hanga is the precise registration which enables
multi-block polychrome printing (practically no limit to the number of color
layers which can be printed) and which helps make Japanese prints so
AMAZING! Use of water-soluble substitutes for oil based relief printing
inks should be discouraged -- those have NOTHING to do with Japanese
techniques. Moku-hanga exchanges should be Japanese polychrome woodblock
printing and participants should be as honest with themselves and one
another as possible when it comes to satisfying exchange requirements.

Moku-hanga technique is UNCOMMON outside Japan (and may be a dying art even
IN Japan). A large part of our mission in Baren is (was?) to spread the
word and the work and keep the techniques vital and more widely understood
and practiced. Hanga is practiced by only a handful of printers outside
Japan -- MANY of those are in Baren. Western relief printmaking? Widely
practiced and basic techniques well understood -- millions have experienced
cutting, applying ink with a brayer, and printing with a wooden spoon or
press at least once. Not so with Japanese printmaking technique.

Two more cents!


PS -- I prefer as 'open' a theme as possible. "TREE" seems too solid -- how
about "botanical" or something? This LONG format (15x7 inches) -- Maria's
called it O-bosho, but I think O-bosho was the standard double-oban size,
15x20 or a bit larger -- don't we really mean "O-tanzaku" for #39 -- a
format traditionally used vertically for "bird and flower" prints. A nice
theme for an all-hanga o-tanzaku format might BE "bird and flower genre"?

Mike Lyon
Kansas City, MO
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Message 9
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 18:45:25 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36965] Re: future exchange schedule
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Your pretty well got this right Mike....
Well expresses...

However, please donít post to many of these kinds of reminders
and heads up suggestion...

As it stand now us folk that work almost exclusively in Moku Hanga
have very little competition and frankly I like it that way.
So my recommendation to the non moku hanga guys is .....

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Message 10
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 20:44:52 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36966] Exchange Schedule and Exchange #39
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I have listened to everyoneís thoughtful and not so thoughtful comments.
First I have to say that I am obviously going to place more weight on the
thoughtful comments offering solutions, as well as the comments from those
members that actually participate in exchanges and, more so, have
coordinated exchanges or participate in our conversations and, in many other
ways, positively _contribute_ to the happy community that we (usually) are.
That sentence was too long and had too many commas but you get my drift...

Also, I would like to very much reiterate that was started as
a traditional Japanese woodblock forum but has welcomed with open arms the
wide variety of techniques and materials that increased membership over the
years has brought. I would suggest to our newer membership a gander through
the richness of the website
Many other groups and private blogs have sprung from Barenforum's membership
and are continually announced in the forum and happily co-exist and are
available for members to explore and discuss the vast richness of many other
forms of printmaking. Accusing the forum of being divisive or exclusive or
discriminating in any way is just pure gar-bah-ge and would be funny if it
wasn't irritating, or maybe the other way around.

History shows that about 35-38 people sign up for any given exchange, four
or more end up dropping out or disappearing altogether. Popular themes
result in double exchanges to accommodate the interest but are rare. Should
participation rates decline suddenly, I will surely take notice. We have
plenty of exchanges for everyone that wants to exchange, it seems, and
certainly as many as this Exchange Manager can handle. Assistants are always
welcomed. Off-shoot, off-list exchanges are always encouraged, as in the
large-format exchange and my own crazy puzzle-cairns, to mention just two

So, VOTING IS NOW CLOSED, I have a rather large piece of paper danged near
full of little notes, categories, and tally marks and the onset of an
irritating headache.
With the premise that we can't please everyone all of the time...

Future Exchange Schedule:

To continue to grow together as a group, I am introducing a "technique
challenge" and have modified my thoughts and suggestions according to
thoughtful comments from the membership.
This "technique challenge" will take place once a year and the "technique"
will be voted on (aw lordie) just as we do themes. If the technique happens
to be oil or moku-hanga or white-line or potato prints or whatever, the
majority will have their say and their exchange. Hey! Remember Michael
Schneider's rock prints?

Try as I might, I hardly see any negative in this as there are still three
other exchanges per year where everyone can do what they do. Can I emphasize
this enough?: I am not transforming into a moku-hanga forum,
I am not structuring or dividing anything or anyone, I am simply challenging
the membership to a once a year: "by golly let's try this". If the plan
doesn't work, I will happily eat crow, my cats say it tastes just like
chicken anyway.

A once a year technique challenge will stimulate discussion, introduce new
techniques, maybe make some members come out of the shadows, add
"exhibit-ability" to our archives, make our conversations more complete in
terms of discussion about woodblock printmaking, and perhaps someone (else)
can get motivated to gather up all the comments on a certain technique into
a coherent whole, and make our newsletter alive again and our encyclopedia
even a more complete resource.
Contribution opportunities abound in our community.

I also know that some techniques or the sole concept of "structure" are not
for everyone, but we will still have mostly free exchanges for everyone, 3
of 4 exchanges per year free, 75% free, repeat, a majority free, unchanged,
free, once more free and unchanged. As shown by our neglected Swap Shop and
the slightly limping Chinese Lunar New Year exchanges, less and less
structure tends to yield less desirable results, in terms of successfully
exchanging prints. When a theme, technique, paper size, etc., doesn't suit
most of us simply quietly skip it.

Exchange #39:

-Sign up begins October 1st (thank GOD we didn't have to VOTE on that)

-Medium: Moku-hanga (to please the 18 'yipees' which are a voting majority
over the 5 'bummers', 5 'whateverdude' and 3 'double-up'). Previously
defined in Exchange 15 as: Traditional Japanese polychrome wood block print
- hand rubbed with baren, multi-block, water color pigments, Japanese washi
(printmaking paper).
Please see:

-Paper size remains the same but renamed properly: 1/3 O-bosho known as:
O-Tanzaku yoko -- a sheet measuring 6.6 by 15 inches (16.75 x 38 cm).
The traditional size of printmaking paper in old Japan was O-bosho -- the
size of two O-ban sheets... The O-bosho sheet can be cut to make three
(We have done this size before in Exchange 24, for example, and this should
please someone, somewhere, I'm sure).

-Paper orientation NOT restricted (to remove some restrictions and please
the free-willed).

-Theme: Self-portrait as/with/beside/under/on top of/resembling/looking
at/pondering/cutting down/living in/burning/caring for/planting/(or, in my
case) hanging from, a tree or trees or an entire flippin' forest if you
To rephrase: a melding of 'self-portrait' and 'tree' themes, which could
encompass all of those suggestions and more and make for a mighty
interesting collection of images.

Again, a compromise among the majority: "self-portrait as tree" and "tree"
votes are tied, with "self-portrait" coming in as third choice, so maybe we
can encompass all three to, again, remove some restriction and please the
majority of the majority of most of the voting votes. I would remove the
theme altogether but hate to waste all those neato tally marks.


K.Solomon, Exchange Manager

†††††† Maria Arango
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Message 11
From: "Mike Lyon"
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 22:38:53 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36967] RE: Exchange Schedule and Exchange #39
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O-tanzaku-yoko implies that the format is long in the Horizontal dimension
-- is that what you really mean??? Normally (without the yoko "side") this
would be a VERTICAL format...



Mike Lyon
Kansas City, MO