Today's postings

  1. [Baren 27051] moku hanga and Dan (Barbara Mason)
  2. [Baren 27052] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V30 #2955 (Feb 12, 2005) ("Tony&linda")
  3. [Baren 27053] wood (Barbara Mason)
  4. [Baren 27054] book (Barbara Mason)
  5. [Baren 27055] Re: Why Paste (Wanda Robertson)
  6. [Baren 27056] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V30 #2955 (Feb 12, 2005) (Mike Lyon)
  7. [Baren 27057] book and paste (Charles Morgan)
  8. [Baren 27058] Moku Hanga at Union College ("April Vollmer")
  9. [Baren 27059] Re: Why Paste (Sharri LaPierre)
Member image

Message 1
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 07:28:46 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 27051] moku hanga and Dan
Send Message: To this poster

As usual Mike has such good information for us. He sure seems to know the "why" of stuff, and we want to know it all. I sort of know, but don't think I think it through as well as he does.
It is so exciting that you are finally trying the Japapnese method...I think you will like it once you get going. For me the hardest part was that I dripped stuff all over until I finally figured out where to put the ink, the brush, the paste, the baren, the paper....I kept hitting one thing with another and dragging the paper through little drops I had not seen I had "dropped". It is just like anything else, once you get going you get organized and finally you are less messy....

Be sure to get your block damp before you start to print....Dave prints up a few on parctice paper, some use newsprint, I lay a couple of wet viva paper towels on the block for a few minutes, then start. This seems to get the block sufficiently damp. It will absorb a lot of water and pigment the first few minutes then even out. Also it is very tempting to have things too wet. When your block is ready to print, it should just look shiny when you look across it, not wet. I remember so well Dave saying to Wanda and myself, Why are you using so much water and paste???? And we said..huh? We don't know.....but gradually we learned that less is more as long as it is enough to print. I think the single thing people do wrong when they try this without someone helping them in person is that they have too much water on the block. Once it is saturated with all it will absorb, you only need a little. Trial and can do this! We will be waiting the results with lots of support! So go for
Best to you,
Member image

Message 2
From: "Tony&linda"
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 09:33:57 -0600
Subject: [Baren 27052] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V30 #2955 (Feb 12, 2005)
Send Message: To this poster

Hi.....The paste conversation is interesting to me.
I'm starting to really want some color.
I have to look into books mentioned here and in the archives.
Is there one book that you all agree on as the best for someone to
self-teach this color/paste/printing thing?
I haven't even begun to look into if there are any classes/workshops near
Madison, Wisconsin.
Otherwise, I'll be holding off until I can flip through the books myself to
make a decision.
I've not done enough reading yet about this,
so please excuse what might be old questions.
WhiteLine printing is supposedly just watercolor on the paste or
medium or any sort?
One thing I'm not understanding yet is the care of the wood itself.
Isn't water based anything bad for the wood?
Shouldn't the wood be oiled, cared for in any way?
You just wash this stuff off and let it air dry? That's it?

I know, I've got to get a book.
It's just that I've been thinking about color this morning, when this whole
"paste" conversation dropped in.
Member image

Message 3
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 08:02:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 27053] wood
Send Message: To this poster

There are two books that are very good,and I will list them at the end of my post, I got them from the Mcclains Printmaking site , but others have them as well, Graphic Chemical and Amazon and possibly you could find one used online somewhere.
Hard to say which book is the best...I love the $48 one, of course.

The water is hard on the blocks, that is one reason not to use too much. But they just expand and contract and do fine, sometimes they
split if old and too dry and sometimes they warp. If they warp one way, sometimes you can fix that by getting the other side wet and
then attaching a piece of wood with grain the other way onto both ends. Stand them on edge to store them after they have aired out
a bit when you are finished printing. Having wood too dry is much worse for it than having it humidity will just destroy stuff
as will way too much.

I learned to use a mixture of thinner and spar varnish, 1/2 and 1/2. You put it on the sanded block with a cloth and let dry, then sand again.
We put a second coat on after carving and it seemed to make no difference to the printing at all. Be sure to do this in good ventilation as this
stuff is bad for you to breathe. But then I got lazy and just used nothing and that seems to work just fine. The varnish will make a soft wood
stronger and help hold the lines a little better.

Maria oils her block before carving, she thinks it makes it easier. If you do this you might have to lightly sand the surface with a block of wood
and very fine paper before printing so the wood can absorb water. I think she is an oily of all know who you are...heheheheh.
I have oiled my blocks with no problems so guess it depends on how much oil you use. The waterbased printing will eventually deal with the oil. There
is no humidity at all in Las Vegas where Maria lives...I think she has tales of wood problems from that. Think it is just way too dry there to do moku
hanga unless you have a humidifier going all the time in your room. Water dries so fast it is blink and it is just gone. I think it is 3%
there while it is about 30% year round i Oregon where I am and in the rainy season of course it is 100%. We have nice dry summers....but very wet winters.

Watercolor does have a binder in it...I have a book on the white line stuff but don't think it mentions an additional binder being used. They inked with
a paintbrush and printed pretty fast, very small areas at at time.
Best to you,

The Art and Craft of Woodblock Printmaking $48
by Kari Laitinen, Tuula Moilanen, and Antti Tanttu
Japanese Woodblock Printing $19.95
by Rebecca Salter
Member image

Message 4
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 08:12:19 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 27054] book
Send Message: To this poster

Sorry for the second post.....
I just did a search for that $48 book on line to find it is out of print and is now $159 to $ that makes McClains price look good. If you want one....I suggest ordering it before she runs out.
Member image

Message 5
From: Wanda Robertson
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 08:25:04 -0800
Subject: [Baren 27055] Re: Why Paste
Send Message: To this poster

Hi Charles,

I use about a teaspoon of methyl cellulose powder to about a pint of
water. Stir & stir & stir & then let it sit awhile & stir again. It
does tend to settle into a rubbery blob in the bottom of the jar & I've
never tried shaking it - I like your description. I just let it sit on
the counter & stir it up as I go by during the day. My favorite side
effect of the stuff is letting a thin layer of it dry in a little
yoghurt cup & pulling it out in a thin clear sheet. Weird stuff - but
I'm told it is just the stuff that holds paper fibers together. And
yes, it will mold (especially in Western Oregon) if you leave it out of
the refrigerator.

Member image

Message 6
From: Mike Lyon
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 10:31:37 -0600
Subject: [Baren 27056] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V30 #2955 (Feb 12, 2005)
Send Message: To this poster

Linda wrote:
>Is there one book that you all agree on as the best for someone to
>self-teach this color/paste/printing thing?

We almost certainly will not 'all' agree, but my personal all-around
favorite is "Japanese Print-Making" by Toshi Yoshida and Rei Yuki, Tokyo
1966 -- this book is out of print now, but used ones occasionally are
available (usually pricey) -- check your library!

David Bull has made a number of great texts on woodblock printmaking
available on-line:

>I haven't even begun to look into if there are any classes/workshops near
>Madison, Wisconsin.

Not so close to Madison, but I do have a five-day workshop coming up April
11-15 at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, CT:

>Shouldn't the wood be oiled, cared for in any way? You just wash this
>stuff off and let it air dry? That's it?

No, the wood for Japanese technique should not be oiled. But some people
do coat the block with shellac or varnish prior to carving in order to
reduce the absorbancy of the block and in so doing, make the way the wood
surface prints more uniform. I don't usually wash the block after printing
-- just let it dry -- it'll be ready to go the next time you print -- the
materials normally used are all re-soluble in water.

-- Mike

Mike Lyon
Kansas City, Missouri
Member image

Message 7
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 09:34:49 -0800
Subject: [Baren 27057] book and paste
Send Message: To this poster

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions about how to prepare methyl cellulose.

Just a note on the book _The Art and Craft of Woodblock Printmaking_ by
Kari Laitinen, Tuula Moilanen, and Antti Tanttu ... It was published in
Finland. I ordered my copy directly from the publishers at University of
Tampere. Contact them by email at:

They were very quick to respond ... I sent them a credit card, and they
sent the book right away. Check with them ... they may still have copies of
the book.

In case you want it, the snail mail address is:

University of Tampere
Sales Office, P.O. Box 617
SF-33014 Tampere, FINLAND

If all else fails, look for a used copy at:

The site is the largest consortium of used book dealers in the world.

Good luck.

Cheers ...... Charles
Member image

Message 8
From: "April Vollmer"
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 12:38:53 -0500
Subject: [Baren 27058] Moku Hanga at Union College
Send Message: To this poster

Mike, thank you for the clarification about the difference between methyl
cellulose and rice paste and wheat paste!

Here is the link to the show Mike and I are in at Union College, a great
show of all moku hanga artists.

Member image

Message 9
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 12:51:28 -0800
Subject: [Baren 27059] Re: Why Paste
Send Message: To this poster

I am quite new to this hanga thing, too - but, here is my experience
with rice paste and methylcellulose. First, I have had no luck at all
using rice paste. It and I do not have a symbiotic or any other kind
of relationship and prepackaged, schmeepackaged - it made no
difference. However, MC and I just love one another to death. I mix
this stuff up by the quart and keep it in my studio at room temperature
and it has never molded or gone sour or done any other untoward
activity. It just sits there, unrefrigerated, though capped, in its
mayonnaise jar for a year or more, I think I had one quart for two or
more years. The median temp. in my studio is probably around 68, and
I turn the heat down to 59 when I'm not in there. I'm sure our temp.
and humidity in the great state of WA is much different from yours, and
we have no alligators. Just beavers and they are always busy.

Cheers - and have a lot of fun with this stuff. Experiment until your
arm wears out and you need to rewrap your baren - then you will be
ready to start printing for real! Such fun we all have :-)