Netsuke - Wood Bird II

Re-carving the wood bird

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Today I make sure to take my time and carve closer to the original lines of the bird sketch.

Inking up the wood bird

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The L shape sits up next to the woodblock to line up the paper. Paul Furneaux had given me some little markers to use for registration which I tape onto the wood. I place mine completely the opposite way round and slanting on the block and feel the frown of the ukiyo-e printers. But for me it's perfect as I want to bird to be at a slight angle and didn't accommodate for this in the initial carving.

Printing the wood bird

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The slanted markers on a separate L Shape enable me to change the position of the printed bird. This experiment might go against the tradition of the ukiyo-e printers but exploring different methods of registration became quite common among the Sōsaku-hanga artists during the Creative Print movement.

"Many artists - Munakata, Morozumi, Kidokoro, Maki, Sasajima, to name a few - do not use registration per se because they work with monochrome prints, or they print all the colours at once, or they use colouring techniques such as resist dying after the basic monochrome image has been printed. For them it is only necessary to center the image on the paper - though the use of kentō still survives, contemporary Japanese print artists have steadily been developing their own individual approaches to to meet their particular needs." Evolving Techniques in Japanese Woodblock Prints by Gaston Petit
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"The technique...in modern prints became creative rather than technical." Japanese print-making: A handbook of traditional & modern techniques - Toshi Yoshida & Rei Yuki
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Sōsaku-hanga (創作版画 "creative prints"?) was an art movement in early 20th-century Japan. It stressed the artist as the sole creator motivated by a desire for self-expression, and advocated principles of art that is "self-drawn" (自画 jiga), "self-carved" (自刻 jikoku) and "self-printed" (自刷 jizuri). As opposed to the shin-hanga ("new prints") movement that maintained the traditional ukiyo-e collaborative system where the artist, carver, printer, and publisher engaged in division of labor, creative print artists distinguished themselves as artists creating art for art’s sake. Wikipedia - Sōsaku-hanga