Sunday, May 31, 2015

Moku Hanga a Roma



 Last weekend's woodblock print class went by in a fast and busy that I only once tried to document the workshop with photos but my camera died and I never did get a chance to recharge. Thanks to Francesca and Giulia instead who took lots of photos and forwarded them to me.

It was a great group. Five energetic, really enthusiastic and dauntless artists happy to spend 3 full days learning something new.

This was designed as a 3-Day class: We talked a little bit about the history of moku hanga, looked at slides and I did a general printing demo followed by an introduction to tools and methods.
We went over the drawings and transferred them to the blocks and the group got carving.
Day one ended with the keyblocks carved.....
I forget sometimes how difficult it is for new carvers to learn how to hold the knives and work without fatiguing. 

Day 2 was devoted to looking at some beautiful antique prints; I demonstrated color printing and multi block registration. Color blocks were carved.

Day 3: we looked at slides of contemporary moku hanga artists;  I did a demo of bokashi gradation printing and and printing tips. And we discussed traditional and non-traditional barens.
PRINTING for the better part of the day.
We finished reviewing each persons works and ended the day, late, with a demonstration of how
 to tie the bamboo skin/leaf on the baren.

As I said before it was a great group.
The artists and graphic designers all had a good grasp of color separations and image manipulation.
The one beginner had a strong art history background (but had never carved either lino or wood) had some challenges with carving but was persistent, careful, and determined and managed to pull off a three-block image with a bokashi background and a cute character that everyone but me recognized as "SPANK"?

Registration was pretty good all around and the only real issues were the loss of some of the keyblock lines..from carving issues with the toh and gouges on the first afternoon....but that gets better with practice and by the second day all were already clearly more in control with the toh and chisels.  Each participant definitely got a sense of how the process works and what to work on for their next prints.

Claudia's "Spank". They say it's a dog?

 I had a great time; it was fun to teach and a great group to be a part of.
Thank you Betterpress lab for the invitation and a big thank you to the participants themselves for their effort and energy.

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