Baren Digest Tuesday, 8 May 2001 Volume 15 : Number 1414 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: GWohlken Date: Mon, 07 May 2001 10:03:33 -0400 Subject: [Baren 14381] Re: Baren Digest v15 #1413 This may seem naive, Gary, but it seems if all these people making a print in a collaboration, and especially showing their fine skills at their craft, all names should be on the final piece like when a film shows the credits at the end. Gayle (Ohio, USA) ------------------------------ From: (John Amoss) Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 10:42:49 -0400 (EDT) Subject: [Baren 14382] Re: Umetaro Azechi Garth- You wrote: >Hi folks, i just bought a print and book by Umetaro Azechi Is this "JAPANESE WOODBLOCK PRINTS: Their Techniques & Appreciation"? If so, I liked the book as it shows some really good progressive photos showing how to tie barens, etc. I'm not a huge fan of his work as it is a little too "child-like" for my tastes. However, I thought that it was a good "how-to" text that applies to most types of work. Unfortunately, the book is priced high ($75 to $300) because of the actual woodblock print in the frontis. - -John A. ------------------------------ From: Wanda Date: Mon, 07 May 2001 08:44:46 -0700 Subject: [Baren 14383] Re: Yoshida Book on EBAY I'm curious, did anyone on Baren get this book? What a good buy, congratulations on snapping it up at this price! It was one of those "instant buy" things for $175. and since no-one has ever seen it at that low price - it really *was* an instant buy for someone. Wanda ------------------------------ From: (Sue Salsbury) Date: 7 May 2001 16:16:02 -0000 Subject: [Baren 14384] Helen Hyde Message posted by: Sue Salsbury Dave, you are correct in that Helen Hyde told people about working with the Japanese system and using many hands to produce the work. I didn't buy one of her pieces, but I did pick up a small book about her and her work. Well worth the money to be come familiar with a new artist. Her things were lovely and now knowing a bit about her, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a piece of her work. The prints I collect reflect my own personal interest and taste, not what the art critics and dealers say is collectable. The booth where I saw Helen's work also had a portfolio of original Japanese Ukiyo-e prints. He had a wonderful diptych of a butterfly dance being performed on a bridge. When I looked at them I thought there was a small amount of foxing on the edge, but he explained that they were small holes where they had been sewn into a book. This was an instant turn off of a sale for me. I really needed to question him further before totally omitting the option to buy. The dilemma this presents for me is the question of whether the book was in such an un repairable state that they preserved the prints by removing them, or had the book been dismantled simply to gain individual prints to sell for more profit. The latter option is of course the one I am most concerned with. Sue Salsbury. ------------------------------ From: "Bill H Ritchie Jr" Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 11:26:57 -0700 Subject: [Baren 14385] RE: Baren Digest v15 #1413 charset="iso-8859-1" In his original message, Gary asked: "So, is collaboration good or bad?" First, my disclaimer: I like Gary, and Dave Bull and I guess everybody on the baren list. All of us make this new technology work in the favor of artists, crafts people and designers all over the world who just happen to REALLY like printmaking. That's all I have to say about that. True collaboration is good, I think. False collaboration is bad, I think. We could all live and discuss this until we're past 100 years of age; then, with this new technology, our words and ideas could live BEYOND our dying. Maybe that's the highest value of this new technology--which we know developed out of the old technology we call printmaking. Like some other people I've read about, I stepped away from printmaking to get a better view, and fell off a cliff. But on my way down, I passed a lot of interesting lithos (paleo, that is) on the wall. Not many people, I'd say, step backward, keeping their eye on printmaking as a whole, to get a better understanding. Surely, such a passion that lasts lifetimes (beyond sex, food, and money, apparently--but I'm just guessing on that one) must be driven by more than what kind of ink you use or where the best paper is made. Or who is collaborating with whom, and why. When I hit the bottom of my fall from the acknowledged print world, people from different worlds helped me to my feet. They were a motly bunch. All shapes, sizes and shades of people, speaking different languages (but mostly English). The longer I stayed in this multi-discliplinary world, the more it seemed to me that there was only one thing we all had in common: We need oxygen to live beyond about 15 mintues. Life is like that. No one gets out of it alive. I want to scale that sheer cliff, make my way back to where I was comfortable, once, with the delights of shop talk and the physical action of making prints in an group of amiable people who like freedom more than printmaking, yet who find freedom only though printmaking. True collaboration is good when it is true to the bottom line--you might call it the world of oxygen-breathers. False collaboration is bad when is untrue to the bottom line--and it was from that world where people don't know the difference because they think everyone has, and always will have, all the oxygen they need, forever. Including our children, our friends' children, and the grandchildren. That goes for all oxygen breathers, in fact. The reason I am making prints today (and why I would collaborate if the economics of our lives allowed it) is because I believe it is more likely to lead us to solving Earth's life sustaining capabilities than, say, highly individualistic art forms done with extremely simplfied processes that acknowledge no collaborative necessity. This thread in the discussion seems to come from division of labor, and it is here where I must be careful. You cannot divide the labor of a person trying to realize a vision within the constraints of a finite ecological and social system without global understanding of the Earth's limited ability to sustain the lives of oxygen-breathers. Soetsu Yanagi said "(Hu)Man works best when his tools are in proportion to his (her) task." What I am calling "false" collaboration is when a person enters a collaborative effort without the foresight that it becomes easier to convert other humans into tools. I don't call it "ego" in these instances, I call it ignorance--one ignoring the human equity of other people. True collaboration is rare, I think. Gary sees that, and I appreciate his reminding me of that today. Thanks, Gary and Dave and all of you. - - Bill Bill H. Ritchie, Jr 500 Aloha #105 Seattle WA 98109 (206) 285-0658 ------------------------------ From: "Deborah Steytler" Date: Mon, 07 May 2001 18:36:19 Subject: [Baren 14386] collaborations
Gayle in Ohio forwarded this to my address regarding a concern elicited by Gary regarding signing works with more than one designer and cutter.  I some times work with a painter who will make a drawing with a sumi brush on a block I have prepared for their use.  I cut and print it, I am the Imprinter (imp) and the designer/artist also signs as the artist in the usual place on the right hand lower margin, under the image. I am currently working with my pals who get together and draw life drawings weekly.  Everyone received a piece of luan plywood about 10 x 10 inches.  I will be cutting and printing their images.  They will also be painting and drawing on the paper before I print on their sections. The print will be realized as a tiled together image of all the versions of the human form. We will all be signing.  I may be the "producer", idea person but the work will be credited to all.  After all they were generous en! ! ough to contribute a drawing.
If I butted into the middle of a conversation with only half understanding, I aplogize.
Deb S in Ohio (Woodcutter of the German Expressionist School) ------------------------------ From: "Gary Luedtke" Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 16:14:42 -0500 Subject: [Baren 14387] Re: Baren Digest v15 #1413 charset="iso-8859-1" Gayle, It was not uncommon for this information to be on a collaborative print. The carver and printer's name might be in the margin somewhere, or in the case of some Hiroshige prints, and undoubtedly others, cleverly worked into the design somewhere. The publisher may have had his seal in the image or in the margin, and the artist usually had his seal and or signature also inside the image. If you look at some old Hiroshige prints, or some relatively new Hasui prints, you can find the information there, assuming you read Japanese. Of course there are many examples also of that information not being there. In some cases new blocks were carved by different carvers, so the old carver's name was removed, and perhaps a new one put in, or perhaps not. In some cases, as Dave has pointed out to me recently, they really don't care whether their name is there or not. Gary ------------------------------ From: David Bull Date: Tue, 08 May 2001 07:57:23 +0900 Subject: [Baren 14388] Re: Book breakers ... Sue Salsbury wrote: > The dilemma this presents for me is the question of whether the book > was in such an un repairable state that they preserved the prints by > removing them, or had the book been dismantled simply to gain > individual prints to sell for more profit. The latter option is of > course the one I am most concerned with. We of course have no way of knowing _who_ broke up that book - the dealer you were talking to, or some previous dealer. If however, you can see a _lot_ of these book pages on any particular dealer's stand, that may give you a pretty good hint! It happens here a lot of course. I was browsing in a bookshop here one day a while back and while I wandered around the shelves, the dealer sat openly at his desk working with a knife and a steel ruler ripping a book up and trimming all the sheets. Whenever you question them on this sort of thing they always offer 'plausible' excuses - "Oh, half the book was missing already." "It was too worm-eaten; nobody would want it ..." etc. etc. There is no question that they dramatically increase their financial return by breaking them up. And as long as this is so then the world's finite supply of these old books will inexorably decrease, volume by volume ... Dave ------------------------------ From: Date: Mon, 07 May 2001 23:44:40 EDT Subject: [Baren 14389] carving tools Maria, I was just catching up on some old posts, and I have to respectfully disagree with you on one point. To me, there is no way the flexcut tools can cut basswood as nicely as the Japanese tools. The Japanese steel, which is literally different material than American steel, sharpens up SO much sharper and I find is able to cut much more detail in both basswood and harder types of wood. Perhaps you have a different experience because of the nature of the design you're cutting, I don't know, this is just my opinion - Sarah ------------------------------ From: "JSheridan" Date: Tue, 8 May 2001 02:23:24 -0400 Subject: [Baren 14390] Re: Yoshida Book on EBAY charset="iso-8859-1" Wanda and all The Yoshida Rei book did not sell. I do have a copy of it and it is quite informative on the process.The person selling this print is a woodblock print dealer and i nice guy too. I have purchased a print from before. Joe Sheridan ------------------------------ From: Studio Dalwood Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 04:14:49 +1000 Subject: [Baren 14391] Graphic Chemical Inks Dean said "The Anti-skin spray is one answer. Used in moderation, it'll keep skinning to a minimum. Probably the best (and cheapest) solution is to remove ink from the can so that you leave a smooth, even top...and properly replace the skin paper. A supply of 100 skin papers costs $3-4 or so, and lasts a long time." Thanks Dean I opened a brand new can and had to remove quite a lot of skin that the skin paper had not prevented from forming. Perhaps it was old ink - I was sent Bismark brown which I was told was a substitute for sepia which they didnt have in stock, is this correct?. So I had a lot of waste before I even got to use the ink. I'm finding that the ink is drying very very fast - a few hours rather than days as is usual with the black I have been using. It is my normal practice not to dig in to the can, but to leave a smooth surface as you suggest, but I still lose about a quarter of the tin to drying and skinning and find this unacceptable. Partly because of the price and partly because I'm a environmentally conscious and hate to see waste. Perhaps you should be including complementary skin papers with each can? You didnt answer my other question re optimum drying conditions? And, would it be cheaper for me to mail order from you direct rather than through my supplier - its around $35AUS including postage for a 1LB can? I'm also experimenting with the extender - I wanted those lovely sepia tones that I can get with etching/intaglio and found the bismark heavy, lifeless and dull. The extender has a much different 'tack' and as I'm out of plate oil at the moment I have been having 'fun' with the printing. Once I got the ink transparent enough to be the hue I wanted, I found it was too transparent to give me an even print, by hand. It was printing the very faint plate texture that you get with lino - even though I had sanded the plate to eliminate this - so I had to go back to a darker brown. I think the plate oil might have fixed this. Also, Maria, I noted the problems with roller marks that you mentioned. I wont talk about all the bits of dried ink I had to pick off the slab and the plate... Otherwise the edition is going well. I've now printed approximately half. Using a ball bearing baren has taken about half the rubbing time off, but I still like to finish of with my trusty wooden spoon, giving the plate that personal touch. Patricia, I got the MES catalogue with the ink, they supplied it, I'll look up the spray product and get back to you. Did you get the poem I sent you? In reality, I'm still mostly in bed with the flu, very sick Josie here. Thanks for the ideas and the responses Josephine ------------------------------ From: Date: Tue, 8 May 2001 02:19:21 EDT Subject: [Baren 14392] Re: Book breakers ... The destruction of old books continuies at a rapid pace with both the western and eastern books the target. The answer on the practice might be different with western books vrs eastern ones depending on the time of production of the book. 19th century books produced with the western methods might raise the valid point should they be taken apart for there prints as the binding style and paper the text was printed on will not servive anyway sometimes the prints were printed on better paper and taking them apart might be the only reasonable out come. I am not so familiar with eastern books to make a statement on them. On the subject of tools I generally like the tools i have been using all of these years. I like the western style knife as that is what I learn to work with. I did not like the results i got with Japanese knifes (might have been an inferior blade but i can be sure of that) In that I that i feel I have professional quality from both I like the handles of western tools better but that would be a subjective issue(my personal tastes) Might be because i started relief printing as an wood engraver. John ------------------------------ From: Date: Tue, 8 May 2001 07:24:41 EDT Subject: [Baren 14393] Re: Collaboration On the ink thing i feel that the cans of ink work best in a school situation and the ink cartrages work better in the private studio. The reason i like them is there is all no wasted ink due to skimming and drying out between usage. With colored inks i might not use one color for a long time. With the cartrages you jusk poke a hole in the dryed ink in the tip and crank up the cauking gun. I have used a proofing black that comes without a dryer you have to add it on the inking slab. (because this is with out a dryer it is meant to be left of the inking slab and used all day long as a proofing ink thus they did not put dryer in it.) It can be a pain to get all of the "hickeys" out of the ink and with the cartrages you never have this problem. The 1/4 lb tubes of ink are useful if it is a color you only want to use once but the cartrages come in one pound sizes the same as the cans with much less waste. john of the furry press ------------------------------ End of Baren Digest v15 #1414 *****************************