These are recent posts in the 'General Interest' category | Front Page

All the Print News that Fits ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 9:49 PM, August 6, 2015

Because our shop in Asakusa is somewhat off the beaten path - at least when it comes to woodblock print shops, which are for the most part clustered in the Jimbocho district - most of the people who visit us did not seek us out because we are a print shop; they either came to see the Ukiyoe Heroes prints, they came for a Print Party, or they just dropped in randomly.

We have thus learned over the past months since we opened, that very few of our visitors actually know much about woodblock prints. Is this a problem? Of course not at all; it's a wonderful opportunity!

But it does mean that quite a lot of the conversations we have with people here sometimes tend to veer into 'teaching' mode - we end up explaining not only such things as how the prints were made, but a great deal of background information on them as well.

The other day I came up with a way to help our staff deal with this situation. I am going to create - bit by bit over the coming months and years - a number of small pamphlets that we will pass out to visitors that will help them learn about the things that they see in the shop. Of course we will continue to explain as much as necessary, but I think having such material also on hand will help a great deal.


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In Good Company ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 1:12 PM, April 15, 2015

Jed-san sent over some interesting information the other day, letting me know about an exhibition featuring our work that is starting next week.

It's to be at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. The theme of the show is 'Samurai', and our woodblock prints will be displayed alongside other work inspired by that theme.

But what adds a real 'cachet' for us are the other exhibitions also taking place at the Museum at the same time, featuring some other artists/designers you may have heard of ...


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YouTube milestone ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 12:35 PM, March 3, 2015

We reached a small milestone last night, after uploading the most recent video in the series documenting the production of the Great Wave print - the cumulative views on the channel passed a half million ...

Now I know that in the wider world of YouTube that's no big deal; there are people who do that with every video they upload. But for us, I think it's pretty cool. We were talking about this in the shop yesterday - a day when not a single person came up the stairs. The staff member who was there with me was kind of going, "Dave, what are we going to do?", and I simply had to remind her that this was still 'early days', and that we have plenty of arrows in our quiver. That same day that 'nobody' came in - over 3,000 people watched one of our videos …

(And I'm very glad that they watched from a distance, and didn't all try to climb the stairs!)


Discussion [6]

 

Which way will it go?

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 11:08 PM, December 31, 2014

It's December 31st here in Tokyo. The shop closed a couple of hours ago, after a very busy day of Print Parties (two pre-arranged, and one drop-in) and general visitors. As all of our staffers have headed off to be with their families for the New Year, I've been handling things here myself for the past few days, and will be doing so until the 5th, when a couple of them return.

The guests at Asakusa today were all pretty relaxed about this though, and for a while there I had two of the Print Party attendees working away by themselves on prints while I talked to a couple of other people back in the shop. When I got back to the Party room, they were proud to show me the prints that they had made 'by themselves'. (The two of them and I had of course already been through the process for nearly a half-hour before the other people showed up ... so it's not like I had simply 'abandoned' them ...)

These Print Parties are turning out to be so much fun! I'm kicking myself for not setting this up years ago. We've got it set up so that people print the colour patterns first, and then print the black outline block last. (This is the reverse of our normal method of printing, but there are various technical reasons why it's better to do it this way during the Parties). I also don't have a sample of the finished print on display in the room, so the combination of these two things means that when the first person in line does finally lift the paper off the last block, it astonishes everybody just how good it looks. "Oh my God! Look what I made!" is a not uncommon thing for us to hear at that point ...

Here's a snapshot from the very first Print Party we held here, back on the day before we opened on November 1st, a family from Virginia (subscribers to our Portraits series, as it happens ...):


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Sad News ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 8:50 AM, December 14, 2014

Good-bye to a long-time friend and supporter ...

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Two Years in the planning ...

Posted in General Interest , Jed Henry by Dave Bull at 9:32 PM, November 26, 2014

We're ready to announce our new subscription series for 2015!

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Who am I?

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 8:47 PM, July 23, 2014

A request for feedback and advice from the fans ...

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Grab Bag ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 12:05 AM, July 14, 2014

A catchup of recent activities ...

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A 'spot' of trouble ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 5:11 PM, June 24, 2014

We _desperately_ need more (capable) printers...

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Quarter century ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 6:16 PM, June 18, 2014

A forgotten anniversary!

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Downtime ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 6:56 AM, June 3, 2014

An experience we don't want every day!

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About that 2nd floor ...

Posted in Asakusa , General Interest by Dave Bull at 1:00 PM, May 25, 2014

Still no formal news about our Asakusa workshop plans ...

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