Today's postings

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Postings made on [Baren] members' blogs
over the past 24 hours ...

Subject: Boxwood adventures ...
Posted by: Dave Bull

Unlike the previous Hanga Treasure Chest series, the prints in this one will have a 'unified' appearance. In the old days, whenever prints were issued in sets, it was common to include a 'cartouche' as part of the design, in which both the series title, and the title of each particular print, would be written. And so it will be with this series.

But with a slight twist. As has become obvious by now - from the images of the blocks that I have shown - I am making these prints in pairs. Not two copies of the same image side-by-side (which was frequently done whenever a high volume of prints was needed), but two different images from the series. Numbers 1 and 2 are being made together, then 3 and 4 ... etc. etc.

You have already seen the block for the decorative border pattern, and could clearly see the way that the two prints are arranged on the block. The next one to be carved will be for the border outlines, the cartouches, and the series title. But because the print title will change each time, it cannot be included on this block, but will be carved together with one of the blocks for each particular design. The cartouche block with the series title, will leave a blank space where the print title will appear later.

I made my first dummy images (the one for the pamphlet, etc.) using computer text output for the titles, but for the real prints, I am using real calligraphy. Long-time collector Mrs. Tauchi (who appeared in this newsletter story) has come through again with some beautiful work.

It is extremely delicate calligraphy, and contains lines far too thin to be carved on 'normal' cherry wood. I need something harder, and the standard material for this is tsuge (boxwood), the same wood used for traditional wooden combs.

This though, brings another problem. In the old days, the carver would look at a design, figure out what parts of it (if any) required boxwood, and then place an order with his block supplier for a plank with inlays at the appropriate place(s), all planed perfectly smooth, ready to go. But the last traditional block supplier (Shimano Shintaro) died more than 10 years ago, and in any case, he didn't do this kind of work anyway. Each time I have needed boxwood inlays in my blocks, I have had . . .
[Long item has been trimmed at this point. The full blog entry can be viewed here]

This item is taken from the blog Woodblock RoundTable.
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Subject: Indians and Harvard College
Posted by: Annie B


Today I added an impression behind Caleb and Joel of the Harvard College campus as it appeared in the mid 1700s, the earliest depiction I could find. Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but from the Indian perspective Harvard is actually situated in Wampanoag country, where the inhabitants had lived for approximately 10,000 years before English settlers arrived.

At Harvard College in the late 1600s, English and Indian students were housed together in order to facilitate the goal of language exchange. The English sought to learn Algonquian well enough to preach to the natives, and the Wampanoag presumably wanted to learn English well enough to negotiate with the newcomers.

After the four or five initial Indian students of the 1660-70s, the next Native American student to attend Harvard College was Benjamin Larnell of the Class of 1716. After Larnell died of a fever in 1714 there was a 256-year lull in Indian attendance at Harvard. Finally, in 1970, the American Indian Program was established and since then more than 800 Indians have earned Harvard degrees. Today there are more than 120 Indians on campus.

This item is taken from the blog Woodblock Dreams.
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