I carved and printed a netsuke frog last March from sketches I made at Bristol Museum archives. Using the same sketch, I simplified the design and transferred the image to woodblocks made from Japanese plywood. I carved 1 key block and 4 colour blocks from the same design in preparation for a multi-colour woodblock print.
Multi-colour Woodblock Prints
In Japan during the Edo period, a Japanese woodblock print required many stages, and highly skilled craftspeople to produce an edition of high quality colour prints. Many blocks were used in the process just for one edition of prints. You can see the 17 stages of a colour woodblock print for a design by Toshusai Sharaku (active 1794-95) currently on show at Bristol Museum's Japanese Prints Exhibition - Life in the City. These reproductions were printed by Nagao workshop in Tokyo around 1985-2017.
Transfering and Carving the key block
woodblock Carving Colour blocks and registration
Woodblock Print Colour Test
Inking up the blocks to test out prints for 5 stages of a multi-colour woodblock print using Japanese carbon ink for the key block and gouche for the 4 colour blocks.
I’ll be posting some pics from the event to my instagram page @eightfivepress so keep an eye out!
Thank you to the wonderful team at Bristol Museum, Kate Newnham, Steve Bradley and special thanks to Natasha, Sally and the volunteers Nezrin, Mabel and Zhang. I couldn’t have done it without your amazing help on the day! : ))
かえる (kaeru) frog
I went into a French restaurant and asked the waiter, 'Have you got frog's legs?' He said, 'Yes,' so I said, 'Well hop into the kitchen and get me a cheese sandwich.'
An Encylopedia of Inspiration now available
I mentioned a few months ago that I was going to be taking part in ‘Printmaker - An Encyclopedia of Inspiration’ by Janine Vangool (Uppercase Magazine). The book is available from Uppercase website, it is also now available in the UK. If you’re in Bristol you can also pick up a copy from Arnofini bookshop.