John Amoss


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Artist's comments ...

This turtle was made using water-based techniques, 6 blocks, 17 impressions:

  • (1) keyblock- light gray sumi
  • (2,3) purple bokashi background
  • (4,5) light red shell, eye
  • (6,7) medium red shell
  • (8,9) dark red shell
  • (10,11) skin, rocks - printed twice
  • (12,13,14) bokashi on head, feet and shell
  • (15) gray shadow overall
  • (16) dark sumi keyblock
  • (17) embossing on shell and skin


I carved the turtle at Graham's workshop followed by a short printing. After the final critique, we decided that I should make a few changes such as making the turtle's head poke out of the frame. This change resulted in numerous plugs.

The paper is Shin Torinoko white, although I would have preferred a cream stock. I have had trouble with the sumi from the initial keyblock impression smearing and picking up onto the later color blocks. I solved this by printing a lighter keyblock impression, then following it up with a darker one near the end. This was a little risky as any expansion in the wood or paper would make registration impossible, but it worked this time.

I also used a gray block (impression #15) which really makes an image become cohesive and more 3-dimensional.

The 17th impression was an imbossing using a technique I had read about using one's elbow (niku zuri). After the 30th print, both elbows were quite sore for the next 2 days. I would hate to be the apprentice in charge of embossing using that technique!

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