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Great Wave video … part thirteen

Posted by Dave Bull at   5:01 PM, July 5, 2015 [Permalink]




Added by: Slawik on July 5, 2015 8:08 PM

Great video as usual! It's no use apologising when you keep bringing such a quality work and interesting materials. I'm almost sad it's getting to an end even though I'll be very happy when receiving my print. Maybe you should think of a new kickstarter once this is over!

However, I have some kind of mixed feelings about a video showing a print party: one the one hand, I'd be glad to see how it's done, and on the other hand, I'd like to keep the surprise if, one day, I can come to Japan and use my ticket! Can't decide wether to watch it!

Anyway, keep up the good work Dave and thank you again!

Added by: Marc Kahn on July 6, 2015 1:58 AM

Hi Dave,

Going back to the "old days", was it typical for the carver and printer to collaborate on the proofing process? In watching you work, over the years, I've always assumed that proofing was the carver's job. But now, I'm not so sure.


Added by: Jacques on July 6, 2015 5:16 AM

Two weeks ago Serge and I were talking on Skype discussing the possible reasons why you had been so quiet lately on the internet, and we both came up with the idea that you might be visiting your family in Canada which is now confirmed in your video.

It's very interesting to see the differences between printer Bull-san and Numabe-san on this video. One of them being that Numabe-san seems to use a special (mock-up cardboard?) baren just to get the paper lightly "glued" to the block before starting his actual printing. More importantly, Numabe-san does all his printing standing rather than sitting. That's pretty unusual, isn't it?

Anyway, the result of Numabe's proof printing of your Great Wave print reproduction looks absolutely great. Thanks for this video!

Added by: Bill on July 11, 2015 3:17 AM

Hi Dave
You mentioned in your video that you had to make some of the foam larger, In a case like that do you have to add wood plugs and recarve to increase there size. Great progress.

Added by: Bill on July 12, 2015 4:30 AM

Thought about my question a little more and answered it.

Added by: Dave on July 12, 2015 8:33 AM

As my 8-year old grandson was here through the past week, it was a bit difficult to keep up with emails and posts, but now that he has returned to Canada, perhaps I can catch up a bit …

was it typical for the carver and printer to collaborate on the proofing process?

Back in the old days, 'proofing' would have been nothing more than a quick confirmation that the block set was indeed 'OK', and that there were no major mistakes. For most normal run-of-the-mill jobs, it would have involved the printer, possibly checked by the publisher. The designer would only need to be involved in those cases where there was a special need for his input - certainly not in most daily jobs. As for the carver, he wasn't needed at all at this stage.

Moving into the 20th century, the situation changed completely. Kawase Hasui's diary is full of entries showing that he would sometimes spend days on end at the Watanabe workshop sitting beside the printer while proof printing was taking place. Those shin-hanga images are clearly collaborative efforts between the printer and the designer.

Numabe-san does all his printing standing rather than sitting.

This is somewhat unusual among traditional printers, although he's not the only one. It's much more common for the sosaku printmakers (modern 'creative' printmakers) to work this way, as they haven't had the long training in the traditional methods.

We ourselves use a mixed method; we don't sit cross-legged on the floor, but either use a 'drop-space' below the bench for our legs, or use one of those 'balance chairs', where your weight partly rests on your knees, and you slightly lean forward. Both of these are much more 'body friendly' than the old way …

cutting the foam larger

Because the foam is always a 'negative' space - holes carved in the colour blocks - it is no problem to enlarge them. If I had to make them smaller, it would need wood to be inserted ...

Added by: John Doe on May 22, 2017 2:01 PM

Hi David,

I don't know if you heard or not, but the British Museum are putting on a Hokusai exhibition. Here's the link to their page: http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/hokusai.aspx

Although I doubt you have the time to spare to actually go and visit the exhibition, I just thought you might be interested to know it was going on.


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