Netsuke - Horse Grazing

A Celebration of the wondrous horse in many forms

My next exploration is 'Horse Grazing' inspired by The British Museum's book 'Netsuke - 100 Miniature Masterpieces from Japan.' I found the carving of this horse a little easier than the goat. It helped that there were less lines to carve so I could concentrate more energy on the simpler outline. I began using the cream disk baren the result experimented with my new bamboo baren but I just couldn't pull an even print without over inking the image. I went back used my cream plastic disk baren for the next few prints resulting in a much cleaner image.

 Horse Grazing Print using plastic disk baren

Horse Grazing Print using plastic disk baren

 Horse Grazing Print using bamboo baren

Horse Grazing Print using bamboo baren

As in many cultures, the horse has long been admired in Japan, used as a steed for warriors and considered an object of worship also. In ancient times, people used to to donate horses to shrines to gain the favour of the deities - Unsigned. Wood. Late 1700s. Height 6.5cm.
— Netsuke - 100 miniature masterpieces from Japan.

April Vollmer & A Rampant Horse

On my way to the studio, I stop to look at books in the Arnolfini bookshop. I love this bookshop with shelves full of books on print making, drawing, architecture, illustration, fashion, graphic design, photography, fine art and more. I pick up a book called 'Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop' by April Vollmer. It is fitting that the publisher's logo is a rampant horse while I have been working on my 'Horse Grazing' woodblock print. Watson-Guptill specifically publish books that instruct and inspire artists in a wide range of art and craft. This beautiful hardback edition is vibrant with April Vollmer's multi-colour print of elderflowers (Zova) and inside, her wonderful explanation of the Mokuhanga woodblock printing process.

Learning mokuhanga gave me more creative options than I had anticipated. Initially I wanted to learn to print without a press or toxic solvents, but the flexibility of the technique convinced me to begin using it for all my work.
— April Vollmer - Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop

Two Legged Animal

Back in February 2015 I was covering a shift at Makers Shop & Gallery. A woman popped into the shop looking for a gift to give to a performer at the end of their evening show at the local theatre. I found her some paper flowers folded from sheet music and maps. 'Two Legged Animal' would be performed that night by an aerialist with the skull of a horse, a rope, and a violinist. Minimal in style and timeless in content. I was intrigued. Later on that evening while working in my studio a message came through from a friend that there was a 'not to be missed' performance at the local theatre. Synchronicity strikes again.

I look at my clock. I have 10 minutes before the show is about to start. I pack up my stuff and leave the studio. I arrive at the theatre in the thick of an excited crowd waiting eagerly in the foyer. The announcement is made and one by one we slowly enter the dark intimate space...

The timeless relationship between human and horse, women and the wild. Performed with tail-flicking freedom, Ziggy brings to life the drumbeat of timeless hooves and the tension of the rope. The field is a circus and the sawdust is grass. Stark and tender Two Legged Animal is a windswept journey across open landscapes and through the night, encompassing the sensual and animalistic aspects of female empowerment.
— Event posted by Joe Medlpot

Two Legged Animal Teaser

There will be another opportunity to see this powerful performance at Wickham Theatre, Bristol on Wednesday 21st October 2015.

Thanks Line B Frank and Joe Medler for inviting me to this incredible performance by Ziggy Slingsby and Rowan Rheingans.


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Claire Dorey and Jesvir Mahil

The horse is a strong and beautiful creature. Sculptor and photographer, Claire Dorey, captures the power of these wonderful animals with her stunning sculptures at Immortal Horse

What I love about the Eastern approach is that when we think we are going forwards we are in fact going backwards. For example it seems very progressive to allow horses to roam around freely but there was a time in the past when that was perfectly normal and I believe that there will be a time in the future when it will again be perfectly normal to allow horses to roam around freely. Wouldn’t that be wonderful.
— Jesvir Mahil - The Seven Ps of Creativity