Katsushika Hokusai's 'Great Wave'

Production Videos

How the print is being made ...

Although we have no 'documentary level' camera and editing skills, we do think it important to try and let people know as much as possible about how this print is being made, and this series of videos is our attempt to do that. Some of them focus on practical aspects of the actual printmaking, and others cover topics more in a 'research' vein. These are all also available from our YouTube Channel, where you can browse others (including many covering production of the Ukiyoe Heroes prints), and leave comments if you wish ...
 

The Great Wave - Part 1

The Great Wave - Part 1

The initial video in the series, introducing the project, and talking a bit about how the work will proceed.

The Great Wave - Part 2

The Great Wave - Part 2

Discussing a switch to a different original copy to guide the tracing - including a short visit to carver Motoharu Asaka.


The Great Wave - Part 3

The Great Wave - Part 3

Discussing quirks of the Metropolitan copy, and a comparison of some other versions of the print. A page of supplementary images to accompany the video is here.

The Great Wave - Part 4

The Great Wave - Part 4

How Dave uses Photoshop to create the tracing that will guide the carving process.


The Great Wave - Part 5

The Great Wave - Part 5

Printing out the finished tracing in preparation for pasting it down onto the wood - discussing scaling issues.

The Great Wave - Part 6

The Great Wave - Part 6

The completed tracing gets pasted down onto the surface of the wood, and carving begins.


The Great Wave - Part 7

The Great Wave - Part 7

A description of the filming setup, followed by some very closeup footage of the carving process.

The Great Wave - Part 8

The Great Wave - Part 8

An investigation of prints in the Metropolitan and British Museums - one of them must be a knockoff ... A page of supplementary images to accompany the video is here.


The Great Wave - Part 9

The Great Wave - Part 9

An Interlude - Dave talks a little bit about Japanese print history, and how some of the old prints are 'related' to his carving bench ...

The Great Wave - Part 10

The Great Wave - Part 10

Wrapping up some loose ends from previous episodes, and more closeup carving. A page of supplementary images to accompany the video is here.


The Great Wave - Part 11

The Great Wave - Part 11

Another long one, but plenty of printmaking 'meat'. This episode covers the preparation of the colour blocks before carving, and also features a special 'surround sound' visit to Sensoji ...

The Great Wave - Part 12

The Great Wave - Part 12

The three stages of work when carving colour blocks, and a discussion of how a main feature of the image probably wasn't Hokusai's idea in the first place ...


The Great Wave - Part 13

The Great Wave - Part 13

We take the blocks over to the workshop of one of our main printers, and we finally see the image come to life ...

The Great Wave - Part 14

The Great Wave - Part 14

For the moment passing over explanation of some of the problems that arose, we skip to the 'end' of the line and show the finished print ...


The Great Wave - Part 15

The Great Wave - Part 15

Dave wraps up the series with a video discussing many of the difficult problems that arose along the way ...