A lesson in humility

I just spent a humble day in the studio. For the past three days my fellow Nagasawa Art Park residents and I have been carving blocks under the guidance of Takade-Sensei. Today Takade-Sensei gave us a printing demonstration before we each began printing our own blocks. He made it look so very easy and produced a beautiful Hikado snow scene. I quickly found out just how difficult this technique can be. It was an afternoon of extreme frustration and disappointment. I failed miserably. And if this were a reality show the tribe would surely vote me off the island of Awaji.

Niccolo, Ross and Levi look on as Takade-Sensei prints a block.

Takade-Sensei displays his print after the third pass.

The final print.

At the end of the day, we all sat down to share tea and sweets before wishing our sensei a fond farewell. Takade-Sensei expressed how much he enjoyed meeting and working with us and then presented each of us with a proof of the edition. In addition, his assistant gave us each a gift! Gift giving is quite popular in Japan and I came well stocked with little gifts for my hosts and teachers. This gift made my silly little Seattle map-bound journal and Theo's chocolate bar look rather paltry by comparison. I am learning so much.

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