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Welcome to [Baren]!

Topics on this page ...

  1. About [Baren]
  2. Staff
  3. Topics
  4. Joining or Leaving [Baren]
  5. Posting a Message to [Baren]
  6. Attachments
  7. Replying to a Posting
  8. Digests
  9. [Baren] Archives
  10. Members' list
  11. Print exchanges
  12. 'Baren-Suji' newsletter
  13. List Administration

About [Baren]

This [Baren] convention is a forum open for anyone to join, but it is most definitely not an 'anonymous' forum. After your subscription request is received, you will be sent an e-mail requesting you to make a short and simple post that introduces yourself to the members of the group. As part of this message, please include your name and general location (e.g. Joe Blow, New York), and when posting subsequent messages always use your name to 'sign' your posts.

[Baren] started as a 'personal' forum conducted by printmaker David Bull from Tokyo, but over the subsequent years grew too large and too active to be sensibly directed by one person, so its affairs began to be directed by a 'Council' made up of eight long-time members. This group listens to the general discussions on the forum, and makes decisions on such things as the timing and content of the frequent print Exchanges, as well as other projects undertaken by the group. Here is a capsule 'history':

  • November 1997: the first [Baren] posting is made, going out to six members
  • February 1998: construction of the Encyclopedia begins
  • Spring 1998: David establishes woodblock.com, as a base for his personal web pages, and as a place for [Baren] to live
  • Fall 1998: member Jim Mundie proposes an exchange program; the idea is taken up and is still going strong ...
  • December 1999: the Council is established, to assist in the management of the group
  • April 2000: publication of the quarterly newsletter 'Baren-Suji' begins
  • November 2000: [Baren] comes of age; David turns the group over to public 'ownership'. The affairs are now completely run by the Council, and the move is made to a permanent website at barenforum.org


The destruction of USENET by anonymous flaming and rampant commercialism has taught us that it is possible for private forums such as this one to maintain a rational level of discourse, yet still allow open exchange of opinions, only if some form of moderation is present. Just as 'panel' discussions of all types can easily get lost without direction, so can this forum, so one of the members is always 'moderating' the discussions, usually in the background, but occasionally through requests to the group (both 'out loud' and in private emails). In the interest of maintaining order, please honour such requests, and always remember - you are much more likely to get an interesting and useful response if your communications are friendly and tolerant. Follow a simple rule: speak on the forum in the same manner as you would to guests in your own home, even to those whose opinions you find disagreeable.

In the 'real world', when people are discussing things face to face and thus are able to receive information via tone of voice and facial expressions, quite 'strong' things can actually be said during the course of a conversation without causing offense. With e-mail all such visual cues are missing. Please be aware of this from both sides - when you send, try and avoid speaking carelessly, and when you receive - please be aware of the shortcomings of this medium, and try and be tolerant if you feel hurt by a perceived slight.

A couple of other small 'rules' should be noted:

  • Please refrain from 'advertising' your products at the [Baren] convention. Of course, as all the members are interested in woodblock prints, they will no doubt want to see yours, and everybody will appreciate your postings that alert us to, and direct us to, your web site (including 'updates' and special changes).
  • Experienced cyberspace users receive e-mail from a wide variety of sources, and the 'Subject:' line of each message is very important to them. It's a good idea to make the subject line of your message both relevant and expressive (and short!).
  • If you have complaints about the moderation or management of the group, please direct them to the group moderator rather than posting them to the forum itself.

Other things you should be aware of before posting are noted on the FAQ pages (a link is at the bottom of this page).


Here is the current line-up of [Baren] 'staff' - the people who act as guides and managers for the group:

  • Council members:
    • Maria Arango
    • Dave Bull
    • Mike Lyon
    • Barbara Mason
    • Dave Harrison
    • Julio Rodriguez
    • Gayle Wohlken


  • Forum moderator: Gayle Wohlken
  • Newsletter editor: David Harrison
  • Archivist: Gayle Wohlken
  • Exchange Manager: Maria Arango
  • Website managers: Maria Arango, Dave Bull
  • [Baren] Mall manager: Barbara Mason

To contact any of these managers, use the form on this page.


The motivation in starting this list was to provide a forum for dissemination of information about woodblock printmaking. There were a number of places on the Web where printmaking in general was discussed, but one always had to wade through a lot of extraeneous information before finding anything relevant to this topic. The only way that the [Baren] convention can be a useful resource to woodblock printmakers is if the discussions focus on woodblock printmaking. Please try and keep this in mind. Of course, if a particular thread becomes interesting and leads a bit 'off-topic' then we should follow it, but when starting a thread, please try and stick to our theme.

Here are the currently available discussion areas:

The [Baren] Forum for Woodblock Printmaking

Anything and everything about:

  • the process of making woodblock prints - carving, printing, tools, suitable papers, etc. etc.
  • matters of general interest to woodblock printmakers - your current printmaking projects, new web sites, general discussion ...

[Baren] After Five

The social forum of the Convention. Glass in hand, here is where you can tell that tall tale about the woodblock that got away ...


Even in the main discussion group we expect (and encourage) a fair amount of straight conversation, badinage, etc. - this is essential in keeping a 'personal' flavour to the group. But postings that have no woodblock content at all, and which consist of friendly 'chat' between members, should be confined to the 'After Five' group ...

The world of woodblock printmaking is quite a small world, and this forum may not turn out to have a lot of 'quantity'. But with your help, a high 'quality' will more than make up for that.

Joining and Leaving [Baren]

Joining and leaving the [Baren] convention is handled by subscription forms located on these web pages.

Posting Messages

You may post messages to the [Baren] convention (after you have subscribed) in two ways: by sending an e-mail message to the list server, or through a special form on this web site.

The [Baren] Forum for Woodblock Printmaking

Email address for posting (take the blank spaces out before using this!):

b a r e n @ m l . a s a h i - n e t . o r . j p

Messages can also be posted from a web page here (members' password needed). To reduce the risk of virus transmission to the list, please use this method when posting from a public computer (Internet Cafe, Public Library, etc).

[Baren] After Five

Email address for posting (take the blank spaces out before using this!):

b a r e n - a f t e r 5 @ m l . a s a h i - n e t . o r . j p

Messages can also be posted from a web page here (members' password needed). See note above ...

Only members may post messages to [Baren]. The server will check the e-mail of the sender against the master list; if it is found, the message will be sent out to the members; if not, the message will be rejected. Please note: this means this if you post a message from a different email address than the one under which you are subscribed, the server will not recognize you, and the message will be rejected.

In general please try to avoid posting more than once a day. This 'rule' is necessary because of the amount of traffic we generate. Instead of sending several short notes, reply to a number of things in one longer post, with clearly marked sections.

Posting guidelines

A more detailed discussion of our posting guidelines is on a page here (the legal stuff).

Any questions or problems with [Baren] operations should be directed to the list moderator.


Although the whole purpose of the [Baren] convention is to exchange information about a form of graphic art, sending illustrations as e-mail attachments can annoy other subscribers, waste bandwidth, and clog up the list archives. Never include any attachments with your postings. The ideal procedure to follow when you have something that you wish us to see is to upload it to a file on your own web site, and then give us a link to the location.

Note that you do not have to know about HTML programming to do this. If you have say, a folder called 'images' on your web site, and place a .jpg file of your latest masterpiece in that folder, then simply giving us the link in the form:


... will allow our mail browsers to access the image quickly and easily.

If you have no web site of your own, it is possible to upload the file to the [Baren] ftp site, where the list owner can access it and move it to a location where group members can see it.


... is the address.

We must also ask that you not use 'HTML' formatted mail when posting to the list. Although many of the members can indeed receive and decode this properly, there are still a large number who cannot - and all the digest subscribers will receive nothing but a jumble of HTML tags.

Replying to a Posting

If your reply will be of interest to other [Baren] convention attendees, please post it to [Baren]. Many e-mail programs automatically set the reply parameter for you; if yours does, all you need to do is choose 'Reply' to have your response sent to the whole list. If your program doesn't set the reply parameter for you, you'll have to enter the address yourself.

When using the 'Reply' button, your posting will of course be sent to the same convention discussion from which the first message originated.

To emphasize this point: hitting your 'Reply' button will broadcast your message to everyone - please be careful!

If your response concerns something that would not be of interest to other [Baren] subscribers, please reply to the original sender via private e-mail.

Please avoid the annoying practice of sending "Me too" replies to the entire list. If you also want to get involved in something that is going on, or want to be included in something being sent out, reply privately to the appropriate person. An excellent rule of thumb about whether you should post an item to the list or not is this: remember that you are 'at' a large convention; you are in an auditorium with hundreds of other printmakers. Would you ask for the floor to announce this information? If not, then please reconsider posting it.

Note: Also please try to avoid using the 'Automatically quote message when replying' feature of your mail program. This will append the entire previous message to your posting, and will make the digests difficult to read. Clip and quote just the portions necessary to keep the 'thread' understandable.


If you do not wish to receive the messages one-by-one as they are sent by the writers, you may subscribe to the 'digest' version instead. Digests containing an unedited compilation of the day's postings are automatically produced and mailed by the server program at 10:00 P.M. (Tokyo time) every evening (earlier if it becomes too large). If you would rather receive messages in this format, instead of one-by-one as they are sent by members, then use the 'digest' option when subscribing:

To change from one version to the other, it is necessary to unsubscribe, then subscribe again. Note also that the address lists are separate; you may subscribe to both versions if you wish (sending in two requests with the subscription form).

[Baren] Archives

The [Baren] archives consist of a collection of Digests stored here on this web site. They are in 'text' format and can be read by your browser, from which you may then 'save' them if you wish.

'After Five' discussions are not archived.

Note: In the interests of encouraging dissemination of woodblock printmaking knowledge, and to allow potential new subscribers to decide whether or not this forum matches their interests, all archived files are available to non-members.

Members' list

Some mailing lists allow people to request a list containing the names and e-mail addresses of all subscribers. To protect subscribers' e-mail addresses, this feature is not available on [Baren], but in the interests of allowing members to expose their work more widely, a public list of Members' Web Sites is maintained.

[Baren] Print Exchanges

[Baren] runs an active program of print exchanges, in which the members (in groups of thirty) make an edition of thirty prints each and exchange them with each other.

Information on the exchange program is here.

The 'Exchange Gallery', with images of the prints in all previous exchanges, is here.

'Baren-Suji' Newsletter

The newsletter of the [Baren] forum - 'Baren-Suji' - was started in the spring of 2000, as a means of communicating our activities and enthusiasm for woodblock printmaking to people outside the group itself. It is published four times a year, and distributed by email (in various formats). The most recent issue can be read here, and if you wish to receive future issues, you may subscribe here.


This is a large and complex website, and it may be difficult for newcomers to find their way around. In order to help members with some of the administrative chores of the list (posting, subscribing/unsubscribing, signing up for exchanges, etc.) a list of administrative links to commonly accessed pages is maintained.

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