Final editions...

I began printing my final editions last week. Being very unsure of myself, the first edition took me three days to print. It came together nicely until the very last passage of color, then it all sort of fell apart. I was quite disappointed to end up with only four decent prints after starting out with a possible 14. I am not a superstitious person, but the final passage was printed on Friday, November 13. Discouraged but not defeated, I began the second edition in the wee hours, the following morning. The second edition came together very well and after a 16 hour stint in the studio, I completed 12 decent prints. I am not a superstitious person, but decided to approach the third edition in exactly the same fashion. After another 16 hour day, the third edition of prints was completed; this time I was left with 10. I learned a lot during these marathon days of printing and decided to have another go at the first image, which went much better the second time around. In the end, each image is an edition of eight. All in all, I spent six long days printing my final editions. Below is an image of each. I was inspired by the triptychs shown to us by Mr Ueba-san, our printing sensei, and wanted to create three pieces that could be viewed alone or together. Unfortunately the right edge of the first image was cropped, leaving out the knee of the woman in image two, but i think you can get the gist...

Palisade Tea Party, 1, 2 & 3
28cm x 21 cm
6 blocks
8 -12 passes
8 - 11 colors


The countdown begins

Only ten days left here in on Awaji Island, Japan. The pace has quickened and the anxiety level has risen considerably now that we are all in the home stretch and working on our final editions. As part of the program we are required to create three editions using the moku hanga technique and donate three pieces of each edition to the Awaji City art collection. For the past four or five days I have been proofing and editing my blocks, making decisions about color and deciding the order in which to print the blocks. It is not easy, but I think I have reached the point where all I can do is dive in and get started...tomorrow. Below are a few pictures of my fellow residents hard at work and a few more from last week's outing to the Awagami Paper Factory.

We visited the handmade paper studio at the Awagami Paper Factory and watched three paper makers make a sheet of paper 2.5m x 5.5m. It is called Gregory paper, after the artist who originally commissioned it, and is the largest handmade paper in Japan.

We then got to try our hand at paper making. Here we are receiving a demonstration.

I've always considered paper making wet and is.

Back in the studio...receiving some instruction from Keiko-san.

Levi-san wields his hangi-to.

Niccolo does some excellent carving.

Align Center
Laura making aesthetic decisions.
As I am writing this, Laura has completed two of her three editions!

At the end of our long days in the studio we enjoy dinner together.


Happy Halloween from Japan

On Halloween we visited a local school to participate in holiday festivities. It was my impression that Halloween is a minor (and perhaps new?) holiday in Japan with none, or at least few, of the commercial aspects we see in the states. We played games, sang songs, passed out candy and in some cases scared the bejesus out of the children.

The children are a bit unsure as we are introduced.

This is the typical response we received from the tiniest ones...

although, most of the children warmed up to us quickly.

Ja, mata! Happy Halloween!