We are kicked out of the nest

I am finishing up my fifth week in Japan and the time is just flying by. Our instruction ended last week. Since then we have been on our own (even our 'housemother' Keiko returned to Tokyo!) and each of us settling into a routine, turning our focus to the three editions we must create using the moku hanga technique of printmaking. For the past week I have been spending my days carving blocks. This requires much more planning than what I am used to. The blocks are made of a plywood and in order to get a nice clean print one must carve into the lower layers of the ply wood. The tricky part for me is needing to constantly consider the direction of the grain of the layer below the layer I'm carving. I'm even confused trying to write about it. Of course I have set a lofty goal for myself and having only finished carving five of the 18 blocks I think I'll need, I am beginning to wonder if I have bit off a bit more sushi than I can chew.
Last week we received our final Moku Hanga instruction from Mr. Ueba-san. Our sensei is a professional printer with over 25 years of experience. After showing us a collection of some of the editions he has printed, he taught us many aspects of printing including , mixing paint, tearing paper, preparing our brushes for use and how to use sumi ink to achieve the rich blacks I so love. Here are a few pictures of our time with Mr. Ueba-san.

Keiko introduces us to our printing sensei, Mr. Ueba-San.

Some of the many editions printed by Mr. Ueba-San.

Demonstrating how to tear paper and maintain a deckled edge.

Shaping the bristles of a horsehair brush using shark skin.

The obligatory group portrait.
Back row: Levi, Philipp, Betsy
Front row: Niccolo, Ross, Mr. Ueba-San, Laura

1 comment:

  1. why is it he one with the tiniest frame always ends up in the back row