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Quick update ...

Posted by Dave Bull at 8:29 AM, September 12, 2013 [Permalink]

So many new things going on, and so little time to blog about them! Here's a quick rundown, just to try and keep everybody just a little bit in the loop ...

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Our Chibi Heroes prints has reached its penultimate issue - the 11th pair has just been sent out!


And we have a page where you can spread your browser window wide and see the entire set in one go ...

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A couple of months back, we had contact from a museum located in Shizuoka Prefecture here in Japan. They have a large collection of Hiroshige prints (they are themselves located on the old Tokaido route, so make a speciality of such things). Their museum staff were preparing an exhibition on the theme of Ukiyoe as 'pop', and it seems they had heard about our recent activities with the Ukiyoe Heroes series.

Long story short ... the exhibition will be up later this month, for a two-month run, and it features prints stretching from the old Hiroshige Tokaido series, right up through ... yes, our Ukiyoe Heroes! Hiroshige and Jed-san, side by side!

I don't have any links for it yet, but will post once the museum people get their page up and running ...

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Here's a little teaser image - a crop from a larger design ...

Couple of things to mention about it ... This is a segment of a trial design we are making; it's a test run for a possible theme for next year's subscription series - the series that will follow our Chibi Heroes.

We're testing a few things: the style and format of the print itself, and ... (drum roll, please!) ... a new carver!

Yes, we've identified a young lady who has the potential to become a carver for Mokuhankan, and this is huge news. Up 'till now, I myself (Dave speaking here) have carved pretty much every single block of every single print that has left this building (with the exception of the Senshafuda designs we issued a couple of years back), and this 'bottleneck' has severely limited the amount of work available for our printers.

This young lady trained in a well-known carver's workshop in Kyoto some years back, but quit the business a few years ago because there was no work. When I heard about her, and phoned to see if she was available, she at first demurred - "I'm sorry; I quit that business and now have another job ..."

But I wouldn't give up so easily, and begged (yes!) her to give our work a try. I sent her some samples of our recent prints - some Chibies and Heroes - and after she saw them she called me back to express a bit of interest. I quickly grabbed the opportunity, and prepared and sent some wood and a sample image, which she is now carving in her spare time.

Once it comes back to me, I'll have to make a decision after seeing it - whether or not to make her an offer of employment. It would have to be attractive enough to make her quit her job and take the plunge into freelance carving, so it's not going to be easy. But anyway, there is at least a chance here to blow things open. I'll let you know what happens!

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Other than that, we're all crazy busy. The ladies here are printing non-stop Chibi Heroes and the Masaru-kun prints that were the rewards for Jed's successful Edo Superstar campaign. I'm trying to get more blocks ready for them - the next Ukiyoe Heroes issue, and the next Chibies ... While that is going on, we also have three professional freelance printers working on more copies of the Heroes prints: Tetsui-san, Numabe-san, and the new printer featured in the video I posted a couple of days ago.

For me now though, it's back to the bench!





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