This is a homage/rip-off of Katsushika Hokusai's
popular manga or 'sketchbook'. If you are unfamiliar with the work,
for an example or see James Michener's book.
I have tried to mirror Hokusai's lively studies of common people
in various activities. Shown here are ten people using woodblocks for
different whimsical purposes - from top right: a judo practice board,
doorstop, toy boat, sandals and a wheel chock. The left includes an
archery target, nutcracker, paperweight, trivet, and the most noble
use - as a printing plate. I did not bother to research the costumes
or items. Rather I 'invented' what I needed to - a method Hokusai
often indulged in.
If you were wondering what the center margin is, it is where the
print would be folded down the middle, thereby creating a left and
right-hand page. I have also tried to reproduce the limited colors
palette that was used in the manga - 2 grays, a black and a tan.
I treated this as a novelty print - more as an entertaining
excersize than a creative expression. And it was indeed a challenge
for me to carve. But compared to the a real Hokusai, it certainly
falls short both in craftsmanship and draftsmanship. I now realize
how developed the artisans of the period (early 1800's) really were!
I used 5 hand-rubbed impressions from 3 basswood planks (I shoulda
used cherry) using Yamaguchi hosho paper.
If you wish to offer some feedback on this print, you may do so
using this form. (Your input may appear later on this page ...)