Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Japanese Wood Block Printing

Summer school continues for me. Last week I took a three day class with Mary Brodbeck through the Glen Arbor Art Assoc. close to my home. Her 35 minute documentary "Becoming Made" you see at the top of her page is a wonderful 35 minute film that really gives you the feel of the technique & history of Japanese wood block printing, Moku Hanga.

I have wanted to learn this technique for some time and Mary was a great teacher. Only 5 of us in the class, which was a nice number. Our surroundings on historic Thoreson Farm, pictured here, were inspiring.

We were in the long sprawling building you see at the far right of the top picture. Fortunately we had gorgeous weather as we were somewhat exposed to the elements.
Using rice paste (Nori) and tubes of water color paint is a real bonus with no nasty smells and easy clean up of the medium. Color variations and opacity are limitless. Carving the Shina wood blocks takes lots of time, but it is an addictive and meditative task!

Mary's prints are gorgeous luscious things.  She did an artist in residence in Glen Arbor several years ago that generated this print of the farm.

I didn't want the three days to end. But we were all happy with the results of our first efforts in the ageless art form. I definitely see myself doing more & more of these types of prints. Thank you Mary!

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