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

Our first blocks!

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 1:04 PM, June 18, 2016

I posted a couple of weeks ago about hunting for cherry wood for making blocks, and that project has moved forward well recently. In fact, as I write this our young carver Kawasaki Noriko is using new 'Mokuhankan' woodblocks for the print she is working on this week - the September issue of this years Portraits subscription series.

Let's have an overview of how the colour separation process works for these prints ...

Kawasaki-san finished up the key block a few days ago, and I pulled a few test impressions; it's pretty black, so doesn't show well in a photo, sorry ...



And here's the special 'double layer' paper I use to make the colour transfer sheets - they are made from a layer of very thin gampi paper tacked to a backing sheet of stiffer paper:


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Doi collaboration video - Part 5

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 2:33 PM, June 8, 2016


Discussion [2]

 

Sizing machine - proof of concept?

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 9:14 PM, June 7, 2016

A few weeks ago I made some posts on this blog outlining problems we were having with both our wood supply, and the paper supply.

As you have seen, we are on the road to working out a completely new supply of wood for ourselves (I'll be reporting more on that in a few days ...); today, I can show you something that we have been working on that might help with the paper situation.

Through comparison of our own experiences with that of other workshops, it has become clear to everybody here that the problems we are all having with the paper recently (heavy feathering, etc.) are inherent in the paper itself, and can thus be completely solved only through action by the papermakers. But during the time over the past few months when suspicion was falling mostly on the sizing, I experimented with dozens of different formulations for applying size to the paper - stronger/weaker mixtures, different ratios of glue/alum, different brushing methods, etc. etc.

Among the things I tried was an attempt one day to dip the sheets of paper into a tub of size, instead of brushing it on. The results were interesting - although I ended up with sizing that was a bit on the 'heavy' side, the application was much more even across the sheets. I didn't push the idea too much, because I found it next to impossible to hold and dip the paper without destroying it in the process (paper that wet is of course very difficult to handle).

But the other day, as I got the system for our new woodblocks up and running, I began to think about a setup for 'dip' sizing, and began to gather some materials together.

Here's a photo I showed a few days ago, while laying out the wood for cutting. Do you see the items scattered at the back of the bench?

Let's take a closer look ...


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Love child of Bob Ross and Jim Henson ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 12:55 PM, May 29, 2016

Well.

That video a week ago has really turned out to be something special. At 28 minutes long, I hesitated before uploading it; I couldn't imagine that people would actually sit there and watch the whole thing. Break it into two parts? I considered that, but thought that this would be worse, that people just wouldn't move on to Part 2.

So, I just uploaded it and sat back to see what would happen ...

What happened was that within a few minutes of it being online, somebody posted it to the 'Documentaries' section of Reddit. And I sat there and watched the 'as it happens' information on the YouTube page, as the viewer count began to climb and climb.

By the end of the first day it had climbed to over 30,000 ...

... and it's still climbing as I write this, a week later.

But what has really turned out to be fun about this one are the comments!


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New woodblocks ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 10:38 AM, May 27, 2016

The wood block adventures continue ... and seem to be moving along well!

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Remembering traditional woodblock carver Susumu Ito

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 7:08 PM, May 23, 2016

The next video is ready ....

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The Wood Question ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 11:34 AM, May 4, 2016

Lots of people offering assistance here ... there's not much our overseas friends can do about paper, but a few people have suggestions about the wood supply ...

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How are we doing? Part three ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 5:13 PM, April 30, 2016

OK, here we go with the next instalment of our update, and as I mentioned in the previous post, we are encountering some major problems with our materials.

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How are we doing? Part two ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 1:16 PM, April 30, 2016

Today's post is more difficult than yesterday's. We've got some problems here at Mokuhankan, and one of them in particular is pretty serious ...

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How are we doing? Part one ...

Posted in Asakusa , General Interest by Dave Bull at 12:05 PM, April 30, 2016

It’s time for me to try and bring our fans/community up-to-date with some very important things happening here.

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Doi Hanga collaboration video - Part 4

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 11:51 PM, February 23, 2016

Video part 4 ... a print comes to life!

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Kamisuki proofing ...

Posted in General Interest by Dave Bull at 3:37 PM, February 21, 2016

Proofing the new 'Mashup' print ...

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