Japanese woodblock prints
This ancient method of producing prints (dating back to 8th century) differs from other printmaking methods in that neither a press nor printing inks are used. Instead water colour paints or gouache with a little nori paste added are brushed onto the woodblock, then dampened, sized Japanese paper is placed on the block and a print is taken by rubbing firmly with a baren (a flat disc shaped tool traditionally made from bamboo).
I love using the traditional tools and beautiful Japanese papers. Although
I have used the traditional technique of registration (kento), which are carved into the blocks where a corner and edge of the paper can slot, as in Kuba 2 and 3, I prefer a more experimental and intuitive approach which gives one-off prints.
It is a challenging technique that I have not been working with for long but I am hooked.
A thorough, informative book on every aspect of the art is "Japanese woodblock printing" by Rebecca Salter, a British abstract artist, who also taught an excellent course on the subject at
West Dean College which I attended.
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