Today's postings

  1. [Baren 41865] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V52 #5350 (Aug 26, 2010) (lynne hubner)
  2. [Baren 41866] Re: chilkdren (Plannedscapes #
  3. [Baren 41867] woodcut printing for children - tips (Lee Churchill)
  4. [Baren 41868] Re: woodcut printing for children - tips sought (Barbara Mason)
  5. [Baren 41869] [spam] (rickadkinsart #
  6. [Baren 41870] teaching carv ("bobcatpath #")
  7. [Baren 41871] Spam on Baren (Gayle Wohlken)
  8. [Baren 41872] Looking for tools (bcnnyc)
  9. [Baren 41873] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V52 #5350 (Aug 26, 2010) (Jean Womack)
  10. [Baren 41874] RE: teaching carv (andrea #
  11. [Baren 41875] Re: woodcut printing for children - tips sought (Sharri LaPierre)
  12. [Baren 41876] Re: woodcut printing for children - tips sought ("Gretchen Grove")
  13. [Baren 41877] Re: woodcut printing for children - tips sought ("Ellen Shipley")
  14. [Baren 41878] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: lynne hubner
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 13:27:13 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41865] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V52 #5350 (Aug 26, 2010)
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Zoe,I would suggest giving each child a gardening cotton glove for their non dominant hand. If a tool slips the hand would be protected. You may consider having bench hooks for them to use. Inking hooks by Speedball work well if you have them in the classroom. Also for the younger children introducing the idea that objects like nuts, bolts, nails, metal brushes, sandpaper can be used to make a mark/texture on the wood . Suggest they create an animal image with their tools. I second the notion of using a soft wood. You would not want the children to become frustrated with the medium. Happy printing.PeaceLynne Hubner

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Message 2
From: Plannedscapes #
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 14:01:58 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41866] Re: chilkdren
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In larger craft/hobby stores that have a wood craft section, there are thin
cut outs that are designed to be glued to things like plaques and boxes
and such. There are stars and hearts and flowers and leaves and sometimes
birds.and letters. All sort of things.
The smaller letters would be fun because you could talk about how the
block has to be cut as a mirror image of how you want the print to look - so
the letters would be glued down backwards. They could decorate around their
initial to make a monogram or put it in the 'lower right' corner as a
signature. They could design on paper even, using the shapes.
Different stores might have different assortments, but make sure they are
all the same thickness.
Glue onto any old wood - if I was doing the class, I would aim for the kids
to make prints that could be cut out and put on 4x6 notecards, so I would
get 1x4 from the home improvement center, which is 3/4" thick and 3 1/2"
wide - I would cut it into 5 1/2" long blocks and if they fill that 3 1/2" x
5 1/2" surface with cutouts, they'd have a nice print that could be cut out
and doublestick taped to a notecard - purchased or made from card stock
folded in half and trimmed. Or that size could be printed in the center of a
letter size paper to be trimmed for framing in a standard photo frame by
their proud parents. Making a set of 4 notecards and one on larger paper
to hang on the fridge reinforces the concept of being able to make multiple
prints - talking about book art kinda muddles that because THOSE
printmakers are designing to use that print one time for the book - so it isn't
really a true trad use of block printing but merely an art style in that case -
making multiple prints gets back to that original idea.
Use a very thin layer of wood glue - kids use too much to harp on them
about this point -and weight it all for a good 15 minutes to dry enough to
print from - a good time for a break or to let them read the books?
AND have some pre-made that are sort of generic for the kids who don't get
theirs made in time or make a tragic mistake so everyone has a block for
the printing part.
Older kids could even use push knives at this point to carve texture onto
the glued-down shapes - or you could just demonstrate some minimal carving
on a sample that you make with the shapes but let them get right to printing
them. If carving is something you wanted to touch on.
Don't know what your experience with kids' classes is, but ask them to
bring an old tshirt to wear so the don't get their clothes inky, and if anyone
forget, as least make them turn what they are wearing inside out. Take a
couple dark colored tshirts for the kid who shows up in a logo polo and no
'paint shirt'. Dark colored but not black so that you can see if they have
a smear of ink on it and clean it up as best you can to keep it from being
'tracked' around the room.
And have some wet hand towels on a plate or tray at every table so they
can wipe off hand smears immediately so they don't track their inky hands
around all over. If you pack supplies in bins, bin lids work well for this.
Am in a hurry here so this is kinda discombobulated, sorry - email me at
_plannedscapes@aol.com_ ( if you have more Qs
about teaching kids classes as I have some exp.
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Message 3
From: Lee Churchill
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 14:11:39 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41867] woodcut printing for children - tips
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Hi Zoe,

Having worked with adults doing lino cut demos I would seriously avoid having kids under 10 doing any carving on their own. I'll never forget the day an adult student drove a speedball cutter into the meat of his thumb by carving in a manner he was expressly told to avoid... it still makes me turn green.

You could precut a series of blocks and then let the students print and layer them in any order/combination they choose. That way they see the blocks and gain an understanding of how inking, printing and overlaying different imagery works.

Using uncarved blocks that are the same height but different lengths/widths you can create basic 'puzzle prints' by inking them individually and then setting side by each to print them. The patterns would be non-representational but abstract artists like Marion Nicoll did the same type of thing with cardboard as the 'block'.

Hope those might be of interest!
Lee Oldford Churchill
Ladybugpaper Studio
6, 2132-35 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
T2T 2E3

"...if we [Craftspeople] are about anything, what we are about is embodied engagement with material things, the cultivation of focused attention, the ability to be present now in this place, at this time, responding to these conditions, coming through to us in all our senses."
- Prof. Ewan Clayton
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Message 4
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 14:28:20 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41868] Re: woodcut printing for children - tips sought
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Children under 10 do not have the fine motor skills needed to actually "cut"
wood. But they can pound on it like crazy and make marks using all types of
things to "distress" the wood. They can glue precut pieces or almost anything
thin to the wood and that can be printed. They can ink up pieces of wood and use
the randomly like stamps, printing them on paper. I recommend a piece of
matboard under the paper so it has a very slight "cushion", it will work better
than a table.
I have been working with kids and printing for 30 years and there is no end to
the things they can make with simple shapes and stamping. White ink on black
paper...I recommend speedball inks or Akua Intaglio inks for young kids, both
are water-soluble and truly clean up totally with a little water and water with
a small amount of kitchen hand washing dish soap, say 10%, in the water. Even
office stickers glued to wood will produce a surface that will print.
Good luck with your project!
If you use balsa wood, it might be soft enough to draw on with a pencil to leave
an indentation...but I have not tried this and it might take too much strength.
The rule of not cutting yourself is to keep both hands on the tool.....even
adults need to be reminded of this! ha
My best to you
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Message 5
From: rickadkinsart #
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 15:54:58 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41869] X-MB-Message-Source: WebUI
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Message 6
From: "bobcatpath #"
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 16:03:20 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41870] teaching carv
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softcut linoleum is a better material to start children out on
i don't give the youngest ANY cutting tools til about third or fourth grade
then its speed ball tools in soft cut lino

if you give a student,
even an adult,
a block of wood to begin learning to carve in
they will inevitably become frustrated

please be kind and print from found objects,
materials , stamps , stencils etc etc

before starting out to carve in a SOFT matrix

gillyin in Maine
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Message 7
From: Gayle Wohlken
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 16:39:47 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41871] Spam on Baren
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Looks like a spam message got through. Sorry about that, people. Working to get rid of that guy.

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Message 8
From: bcnnyc
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 17:44:32 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41872] Looking for tools
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Hello to every body,

I'm a beginner in Moku Hanga and I have to buy my first set of tools.
I was wondering if there is somebody in the forum who has some
beginner or student tools
he is not using anymore, because of upgrading to better ones, and
would be interested in selling them.

As I'm new in the forum too, I don't know how you can contact me, so
in case I live my email address:

I take the chance to thanks all of you who share your knowledge with
the rest of us, It is very inspiring.

Thanks to all,

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Message 9
From: Jean Womack
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 19:28:45 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41873] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V52 #5350 (Aug 26, 2010)
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Alphabet blocks would make nice printing blocks, tho they would come out
backwards when printed. I think you could collect previously cut
woodblocks and just have the children print them. They don't have to cut
them themselves. Most people recommend giving children block printing
knives no earlier than 6th grade.
Jean Womack
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Message 10
From: andrea #
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 19:29:39 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41874] RE: teaching carv
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Sorry if it has already been mentioned and I missed it... I've done printmaking projects with a classroom of fourth graders a couple of times and more recently with a classroom of adults using styrafoam and it worked out great. You don't need any tools and almost anything will make an impression. Pencils and pens work, as well as objects like textured beads and paperclips. Even better, if you are on a limited budget for the project, your local grocery store will likely give you dozens of meat trays if they know it is for a good cause. You can also purchase sheets in packs from most art supply stores. It's actually surprisingly nice to print from. Just be sure to remind everyone more than once that letters need to be backwards to avoid tears.Good Luck,
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Message 11
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 23:10:06 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41875] Re: woodcut printing for children - tips sought
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You can find packages of varied shapes made of wood that could be
glued down to either another piece of wood, or matboard, or something
rigid. These could be inked with brayers and printed. Another idea
is to hit construction sites and collect odd shapes for the kids to
print. I did an entire show of "found wood prints" - they are on my

Neither requires cutting - IMHO 10 yrs. is the minimum age for
actually cutting - and then I prefer linoleum or EZ cut. Blood in the
classroom is cause for chaos!

Cheers ~
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Message 12
From: "Gretchen Grove"
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 02:53:48 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41876] Re: woodcut printing for children - tips sought
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Many craft stores have shapes (butterflies, dinosaurs, etc) pre-cut from
wood. You could ink these and print them.

Gretchen Grove
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Message 13
From: "Ellen Shipley"
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 07:19:25 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41877] Re: woodcut printing for children - tips sought
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I love this discussion. Leaves and other found objects make great prints.
If you place them on wood, you can get the wood grain as well.


Digest Appendix

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

Subject: Methods of transfering design to block Part I
Posted by: Maria

My preferred method of committing design to block is to simply draw on the block. I do this either with sumi ink and a brush or with a "magic" permanent marker, depending on the design. Sumi-ink drawings are more fluid and resemble more Chinese or Japanese designs while permanent marker drawings can be more detailed and "Western" looking.

Working out compositional details with pencil first eliminates the fear of committing drawing to ink. Pencil or charcoal on block can be erased easily. Two cautions: heavy application of graphite can leave a greasy film that will not accept marker or ink later, and too much pressure applied with a sharp pencil on soft wood will leave an indentation that may show on light printing.

One drawback with the direct draw method is that the design will be reversed in printing, but with some years of practice it seems I have learned to "flip on my head" and end up drawing exactly a flipped version of what I really wanted.

Another simple method is to draw on tracing paper or any light weight paper. The drawing can thus be more elaborate and "worked" because the drawing and erasing is done off the block and can be tossed and redrawn infinite times before transferring to the woodblock.
Once the drawing is finished, it can be transferred to the block by flipping the paper over the block and using either carbon paper or charcoal rubbing.

In the case of tracing paper, the drawing can simply be pasted down on the block with rice paste and the carving proceeds right through the paper.

One of my favorite types of carbon paper is a red paper sold at that is soft and transfers even the slightest line. I am also the proud owner of a stack of about 400 sheets of old typing carbon paper picked up on eBay for about $2.98. Pressing down too hard when transferring with carbon paper can leave a dent in soft wood blocks.

[Long item has been trimmed at this point. The full blog entry can be viewed here]

This item is taken from the blog 1000 Woodcuts Updates.
'Reply' to Baren about this item.