woodblock printing

An Enyclopedia of Inspiration coming soon!

This 368-page book features profiles of 48 designers, artists, artisans and entrepreneurs who make things with print.
— Janine Vangool


Uppercase magazine’s founder, publisher, editor and designer Janine Vangool launches the next volume from her Encyclopedia of Inspiration - Print/Maker. I am thrilled to be a part of this volume which will be available this month.

I discovered Janine Vangool’s magazine, Uppercase in 2012, the same year I bought my Adana 8 x 5 printing press. It was Uppercase issue 12. A beautifully designed magazine full of inspirational articles from the ephemera of newsprint, artist’s sketchbooks, creative explorations with maps, Japanese papermaking, a celebration of vintage cameras to sailing the Arctic Circle and letterpress printing from a campervan! I was hooked! As I was beginning my own printmaking journey, Uppercase opened a door to a world of possibility and adventure, fantastic resources and a connection to artists from many parts of the globe.

So it’s really lovely to be invited by Janine to take part in the next volume for The Encyclopedia of Inspiration - Print/Maker. Like Uppercase it will be packed with a colourful eclectic mix of playful and creative printing explorations. I look forward to getting my copy and I hope you are inspired to get one too!

Each dust jacket can be folded to reveal one of four different designs. You can easily refold it to display your favourite. Dust jackets can be used for your own creative purposes as well, like wrapping gifts, collage, or perhaps as a cover for a sketchbook or journal.
— Janine Vangool

Designers Artists Artisans Entrepreneurs

The 48 artists featuring in Print/Maker include Amada Press, Angie Lewn, Baltimore Print Studios, Blackbird Letterpress, Brad Vetter Design, Brooklyn Haberdashery, Cabinpress Studio, Catherine Ruddell, Cathy Terepoki Ceramics, Chasing Paper, Clawhammer Press, Egg Press, Eightfivepress, Feast Letterpress, Fiona Wilson Prints, Gotamago, GTO Printers, Inkello Letterpress, Inkwell Originals, Jeanne McGee, Katharine Watson, Laura Spring, Moglea, Notely, Nourishing Notes, Orozco, Papirmas, Patrick Edgeley, Pressing Matters, Prints & Press, Public-Supply, Red Cap Cards, Risotto, Ruth Hickson, Shorthand, Snap + Tumble, Spark Box Studio, Star Shaped Press, Sugar Paper, The Inkery, The Open Press Project, The Printed Peanut, The Regional Assembly of Text, Virgin Wood Type, WMS & Co., Yao Cheng Design and Yetunde Rodriguez Design.

You can pre-order Print/Maker from Uppercase website by clicking on the button below.

The next three volumes from The Encyclopedia of Inspiration include Ephemera, Vintage Life and Quilted.

The UPPERCASE Encyclopedia of Inspiration (Pre-Order Next 4 Volumes)

Check out more of Janine Vangool’s publications including:

The Typewriter: A Graphic History of the Beloved Machine

The UPPERCASE Encyclopedia of Inspiration BOX SET (The first three volumes)

Uppercase (A magazine or the creative & curious)

Little U (the offspring of UPPERCASE magazine)

Netsuke - Ox (& the Art of Listening)


I discovered Onbeing at the beginning of the year. I have no recollection of the thread in the web that brought me to Kristas Tippett's website but ever since I found it I am a complete fan of her heart warming inspiring interviews with poets, thinkers, speakers, makers, teachers.... from all over the globe.

I'm listening to Gordon Hempton's soundscape of nature's silence 'A Hike through the Hoh rainforest.' He takes us on a guided walk along the trail through tall tree, ferns and moss, a winter wren twittering, a river echoing of the edge of the valley and the call of a Roosevelt elk. In his conversation with Krista Tippett he talks about the art of listening.

"Listening is not about sound - If you ever find yourself listening for sound, that's diagnostically a controlled impairment. Simply listen to the place and when you listen to the place you take it ALL in - We're about to enter into a giant driftwood log -Sikta Spruce log, the material used in the crafting of violins - when the wood fibres are excited by acoustic energy -in this case its the sound of the ocean itself - the fibres actually vibrate and inside you get to listen to nature's largest violin.” Gordon Hempton - Onbeing


Shiko Munakata & Kiyoshi Saito

While I carve my second ox, I wonder where this magnolia wood was growing and how many years it stood rooted in the earth before being cut into blocks. The death of the magnolia tree. The aliveness of mark making. The transforming of tree to print. This time I leave more wood, less carving, more outline and I am more gentle as I listen to the sound of the hangito cutting into the block. I love how Shiko Munakata really listened to the wood when he was carving. He let the wood speak as there is no right and wrong, just the doing of it and the way Kiyoshi Saito, another master of the Creative Print Movement (Sosaku Hanga) embraced the texture of wood grain when printing flat bold areas of colour.

"Flat areas of colour and the texture of the woodblocks' grain communicate the essentials of the nature of bold and harmonious designs. Saito's simple style possesses great freedom and spontaneity, and there is an international avoidance of elegant refinement. " Masterful Images - The Art of Kiyoshi Saito. Barry Till.

"The nature of the woodcut is such, that even a mistake in its carving will not prevent it from its true materialization." Shiko Munakata


I have returned to using the Japanese carbon ink as I am not yet used to the smell of the sumi ink. I use dry Japon simile paper and rub the baren over the woodblock. The plastic cream baren is hard and unforgiving of the slightly uneven surface where I had put too much pressure on the wood with the bone folder. I use my shredded bamboo baren and the next print is much cleaner. This ox is better than the last one but still with its many imperfections. I stick a sample into my notebook along with the previous samples.


I wonder whether sketching these netsuke from 'life' will make a difference. The central archives department at the British museum have forwarded my request on to the department of Asia and sent me their email so I can contact them directly. I send another email to the department of Asia and wait for their reply.