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Product Feedback - Barens

Murasaki Barens

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Yoshida Baren

From Barbara Mason: This is the baren I have been using for two years. It needs a new cover now, but I am waiting until it totally falls apart. I hate to mess with it as I don't want to ruin a good thing. It is very satisfactory.

From John Amoss: I've been using Yoshida barens for a few years and have had good use from them.

I have found that when new, they can be a little flat on the bottom surface, which results in distributing the pressure a little too widely sometimes- especially for heavy printing. This can be quickly remedied by removing the plastic form and lightly tacking (or spraymounting) concentric paper disks onto the plywood disk's bottom. The more layers of paper, the more rounded the bottom surface becomes.

These barens use a molded plastic "shin" with a bubble-like surface. I've found that the dimples can be crushed from either abuse or pressing too hard. I'd imagine that if enough of these were to become inverted, the effectiveness of a baren would be diminished.

A minor note: You may want to seal the plywood disk or your pigments and oils can stain it.

Sosaku Baren

From Wanda Robertson: I purchased both the Sumi and the Beta Sosaku barens this last spring. They are so nice to use. They glide over the paper like they have wings. I like them so much better than the one I had with the plastic dimpled inside. They fit my hand better & the softness of the surface makes it easy to gauge the pressure needed to get a good impression. I'm very happy with them both. And the price is very reasonable.


From Barbara Mason: This is a good inexpensive baren and works well on large surfaces. It is harder to get a feel with this baren, but it gets the job done and did not make my hand and arm tired. It works well with oil based ink and medium weight paper.

From John Amoss: If you're looking for a bargain-basement baren that doesn't require a bamboo cover AND you're someone who can look past its lack of traditional aesthetics, then this is the ticket. I've personally found it to be an inexpensive, durable and well designed tool.

It features a very slightly rounded bottom surface with medium-sized bumps and a snug handle. Even though the plastic is relatively slick, I'd still use a touch of camellia oil when it doesn't glide when printing.

This makes a great student baren. I used this model for a beginning hanga class and everyone found it useful. However, some large-fisted men had a little trouble getting their hands around the rigid grip.

But for $4, how can you go wrong?

Ball-bearing Barens

From Maria Arango: I received my ball-bearing Baren a couple of days back. Today I tried it, and all I can say is "Oh baby! I think I'm in love."

I purchased a Type A "smooth" and it really works very well on my Merrican papers with oil based inks. As you know, oily folk need more muscle to print, especially on dry, tough papers.

Korokoro Baren

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