(eBook: Colour Woodcuts by Platt)

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Description: 85 pages, 12 figures, 21 Plates

From the Editor's Preface to this Mokuhankan edition: [This is the third volume in the Mokuhankan 'Classics of Woodblock Printmaking' series, following earlier publication of the famous books by Hiroshi Yoshida and Frank Morley-Fletcher.

With those two very thorough books thus available to the would-be woodblock printmaker, is yet another 'how to' volume necessary? The answer is most definitely 'yes'! The three books are all very different in approach: Mr. Yoshida had knowledge of the 'real thing' as it was practiced in Japan of his day, and his book is jammed with an abundance of information. Anything and everything you need to know is in there, but its very comprehensiveness limits its usefulness for those with not much experience. It can be a very forbidding book.

Mr. Morley-Fletcher's book, in comparison, is very much an exploration of a 'do it yourself by trial and error' approach. His techniques work of course, as we can see by his prints, but his is a fairly quirky approach, and quite individual.

John Platt's book is perhaps most easily described as being 'the one to get if you can only have one book on the craft'. He turned his hand to the production of this book only after years spent creating a stream of interesting woodblock prints, and with the clear intention of documenting his process in order that others would be able to produce work of an equivalent standard.

The book is intensely practical, and offers an absolutely straight-ahead description of how to make woodblock prints, taking the reader through readable descriptions of tools, materials, and process, with an excellent balance between explaining 'too much' and 'not enough'. With nothing beyond the assistance of this book, an interested and explorative person has at hand all the knowledge required to produce wonderful woodblock prints.

Time and again while reading this book I am struck by how closely Mr. Platt arrived through his own explorations at techniques very close to those used by professional craftsmen here in Japan. There are any number of techniques laid out in this volume that took me many years to learn, even with the chances I have had to 'steal' what I can from workers here in Tokyo. If I myself had had this book on hand when I first began my own experiments with woodblock printmaking nearly thirty years ago, how much time I could have saved!

Now that's not the point - this book isn't a 'time-saver' - but the point I would make is that the techniques described by Mr. Platt are indeed the real stuff ... he knew what he was doing!

It is also important to note that Mr. Platt's material is not yet in the public domain (as are the other two books in this series) and it appears here through the willingness of his family to allow his work to be distributed in this fashion. I thank them very much for their permission to publish this book. I am happy to play a part in keeping Mr. Platt's work available to printmakers, and would-be printmakers. I hope you find it useful. David Bull, Editor]

About this eBook: As with all Mokuhankan eBooks, this volume contains the entire content of the original version; nothing has been omitted from the book published by Mr. Platt. One change has been made in the way that some of the illustrations appear - many of those that were in black and white in the original version are here reproduced in colour. (Future updates to this eBook will contain more such colour illustrations, as better samples of his work become available to us.)

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