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Tsushima-san's Hokusai print is done!

Posted by Dave Bull on March 23, 2012 [Permalink]

It's been quite some time coming, but the edition of the Hokusai surimono reproduction that Tsushima-san has been working on for a few weeks is finally finished.

Ever since I introduced this back in the previous issue of my Hyakunin Issho newsletter, a number of people have been waiting patiently for a copy, and I can say that these will be flying out of here in the post first thing Monday morning ...

If you would like more details on the print, or how to get a copy :-), please visit the catalogue page.

The lateness is due both to some changes we have made in our print packaging methods, and also to the fact that this has been the height of flu season. Tsushima-san has three children, and they have gone down for the count one after the other, and each time somebody runs a fever, she of course has to stay home that day. These prints have spend an inordinate amount of time in the freezer these past few weeks!

Interestingly enough, although I have long known that freezing the washi part way through the printing process does it no harm (and actually helps to soften the sizing somewhat), this is the first time that we have put one through quite so many 'in-out' cycles. It behaved absolutely perfectly, and stayed in soft, printable condition all the way through. When it came time to dry them this evening, they dried to a perfectly smooth finish, and what had been a somewhat too-strongly-sized 'crispy' paper is now wonderfully soft and supple. We're going to experiment with this a bit further ...




Added by: Michael Kohne on March 24, 2012, 2:20 am

Nothing like a unintended change of plan to show you new avenues for research!

Added by: Barbara Mason on March 24, 2012, 2:23 am


My husbands family came from the prairies of Saskatchewan and they always hung clothing outside to freeze the water out...before dryers, I am sure. My sister in law said the cloth was so soft, just like silk, afterwards. So freezing has some interesting effects on fibers. When they brought it in it was barely damp when it thawed out...she said it was like a cord of wood when she carried it in...but 40 degrees below zero is darn cold by any measure.


Added by: Dave on March 24, 2012, 9:39 am

Yes, I remember my mother doing this with the laundry when we lived in Winnipeg. I also seem to remember that it had to be a sunny day, and didn't work so well if it was overcast. I guess the clothes froze instantly, then the water went straight from ice to vapour, without passing through the liquid phase.

When you are keeping the wet paper in the freezer, it has to be wrapped pretty tightly, and it's best if there are quite a few extra newsprint sheets on the top of the stack, because while it is in there, water vapour present in the freezer box passes through the plastic into the stack, which gets damper on the top.


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