Today's postings

  1. [Baren 45503] Re: Letterboxing Stamp (Renee)
  2. [Baren 45504] Is it getting cold in here? (Monica Bright)
  3. [Baren 45505] Good news (jennifermartindale #
  4. [Baren 45506] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: Renee
Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 15:25:09 GMT
Subject: [Baren 45503] Re: Letterboxing Stamp
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Good Morning All,

Ellen, I used an 'e-z-cut' block, with one of my chop marks, for my relief for relief print, I carved the design into the block rather than making the design the relief part. I use Dan Smith's ez cut, it works well, but as with many of these rubbery blocks, the details are not very crisp, or maybe that is just my carving, but it is easy to get a nice chop mark with a simple design. I use these in an introductory class to relief printmaking the blocks are fun to make and the students feel very accomplished with their first prints.

Gillyin, I was so intrigued by Maria's suggestion of nature printing, that I got a little carried away ---

Maria, I hope it is true, nature printing exchange or something? I am interested in this -- could it be true? maybe?

Thanks all!

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Message 2
From: Monica Bright
Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 16:37:27 GMT
Subject: [Baren 45504] Is it getting cold in here?
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Yes! Hell did just freeze over. I actually took two hours for myself in the stuido and printed 61 dragons last night. HOORAY! Once they are dry I will send them on to their respective new homes. Thank you for all those who were more on the ball than I was. I LOVE getting little presents in the mail.
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Message 3
From: jennifermartindale #
Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 10:55:41 GMT
Subject: [Baren 45505] Good news
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Just to share the good news that a print of mine has been accepted for the A4 Printmakers Exhibition in Cornwall
I would not have known about them if it was not for Barenforum.

As most of you know, my previous email was hijacked, and it has lead to me not being able to access my blog at Jenniferscabin.blogspot, which is now frozen. I am in the throes of setting up a new one and will give details when it all goes through.

Digest Appendix

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

Subject: More new faces!
Posted by: Dave Bull

Here at Mokuhankan we're now in real 'Damn the Torpedoes!' mode. Any number of projects are pushing forward bit by bit, but as most of them have yet to produce any (much) revenue at all, our burn rate is getting pretty scary, and I'm far from confident that we'll be able to get things stable before reaching the end of the rope.

But one thing is certain - without making prints we're guaranteed to fail! And as I'm busy trying to run my own printmaking series, and Tsushima-san is only available a few hours per week, we have got to get more people started on that same ladder.

So - as I said - it's damn those torpedoes, and today saw the first visit from two young ladies who are interested in stepping onto the first rung.

(entry continues here ...)

This item is taken from the blog Mokuhankan Conversations.
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Subject: Baren cover(s)
Posted by: Andrew Stone

This is a close-up, without the cover, of a Murasaki Baren, the tool with which I print most of my woodblock prints. The Murasaki refers to the purple, knotted, nylon cord that provides the little bumps that transmit the pressure and push the pigment during printing into the damp washi/paper. These are made with a twisted, hard nylon cord instead of the carefully split and braided bamboo knotted cords that would be in a "HON" or real Baren. It is a concession to time and economics. A Hon Baren now takes almost a year to make and costs over $1200. This one being more easily and quickly made runs about $150 and works much better than the inexpensive, $4.00 plastic one I printed from for the first year I made woodblock prints (and which I still sometimes use). These come from the workshop of Mr. Kikuhide Goto who makes these as well as traditional and hybrid barens. They're great tools and I have two: a 12 cm fine for keyblocks and thin paper and a medium for most everything else. With time the bamboo-leaf wrapper, the Baren Wata, gets worn and has to be replaced. New ones have to be shipped from Japan and arrive curled up and dried and have to be carefully dampened, opened, stretched, and tied to be of use.

My barens got quite a workout during my last few printing months and although they both have developed wear affecting their performance I had been putting off changing the bamboo-leaf skin/coverings as I had only two left and needed to finish printing my dragon prints before risking to be without--sometimes they'll split putting one on and it can't be used).

Here is the damage; the transparent concentric rings and and holes are defects in the sheath caused by wear. Held to the light one can see the holes in the baren sheath caused by gradual wear of the knotted cord as the pressure thins and then makes holes in the leaf covering. This will both leave marks or possibly damage the damp printing paper as well as allow moisture in and possibly damage the baren.

So I pulled out my two remaining new bamboo skins and changed the skins on the barens. This was now my third or fourth attempt and it is definitely getting easier--or at least--less tricky. I got them tight enough and fairly smooth and for the first time didn't tear or split the skins putting them on. They last less and less as I get better at printing; my first skin lasted more almost 2 years; these just a few months.

Here are the front/printing sides one with the skin off and one replaced:

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

This item is taken from the blog Lacrime di Rospo.
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