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The 'Apprentice' ... next stage

Posted by Dave Bull on July 23, 2011 [Permalink]

In the posts that I have made so far discussing Tsushima-san - the lady who has been coming here a couple of times a week to work on the kakegami project - I have avoided using the term 'apprentice'. To me, that word would signify a person who is here with the purpose of developing a career in the craft, something which is not on Tsushima-san's radar. She has children and a husband to care for, and cannot spend more than a few mornings a week at this work, nor has she had any particular interest in (or knowledge of) woodblock printmaking.

But having said that, her attitude has indeed changed a bit over the past few sessions. In short, she has turned out to be pretty good at this. Her work is now on sale over at the confectionery shop (with a number of those wrappers already on the way to purchasers, including some from overseas). And, she's having fun with the challenges.

So when it came time today for the next training session, rather than pull out some more simple blocks and practice more of the 'wrapping paper' type of thing, I thought I would try an experiment. Before she arrived I cut and moistened some paper, then dug out the blocks for one of the prints I use for the woodblock.com 'Gift Print' - the carp picture based on a design by Hokusai (which I originally published as part of my first Treasure Chest series).

During the session this morning - she was here for four hours - she did a run of 15 copies of the print, the first ten sheets on un-moistened practice paper (to get the brush charged, the registration checked, and the basic setup for each block worked out), and the rest on normally moistened proper washi.

Here's a scan of one of those sheets at the end of the batch:

Ready for sale? No, of course not ...

But I don't think it will be long!





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