Today's postings

  1. [Baren 27859] Re: Ref : A familiar question on editions (Aon97 #
  2. [Baren 27860] Re: Ref : A familiar question on editions (Aon97 #
  3. [Baren 27861] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V31 #3043 (Apr 21, 2005) (Aon97 #
  4. [Baren 27862] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V31 #3045 (Apr 23, 2005) (Barebonesart #
  5. [Baren 27863] too many prints (Barbara Mason)
  6. [Baren 27864] April News ("April Vollmer")
  7. [Baren 27865] Re: too many prints (Aon97 #
  8. [Baren 27866] Woodblock slide lecture (ArtfulCarol #
  9. [Baren 27867] Re: too many prints (Shireen Holman)
  10. [Baren 27868] editioning ("James G. Mundie")
  11. [Baren 27869] too many prints (Barbara Mason)
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Message 1
From: Aon97 #
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 11:16:43 EDT
Subject: [Baren 27859] Re: Ref : A familiar question on editions
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Shireen wrote:
> By the way, if you get tired of having a big stack of woodblocks taking up
> room in your studio, would it be a toxic hazard to actually use them as
> firewood? Especially if you had used them with oil based inks?
> Shireen

Depends on what's in the ink, but when I was using poplar, I loved burning
the blocks. I would say that whatever toxins were left on the board after the
cleanup were minimal. I did make the BIG MISTAKE of burning my plywood blocks
last year. Extremely smoky, extremely toxic.
Hamburg, NY
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Message 2
From: Aon97 #
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 11:36:33 EDT
Subject: [Baren 27860] Re: Ref : A familiar question on editions
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Wanda wrote:

> I don't know how many other people declare a
> certain # in an edition and only print part of it - but I do it. The
> main thing is to keep precise records on how many you printed/what
> pigments or color method you used - etc. etc. I think good record
> keeping is the biggest priority if you choose to do this

When in doubt, look to the masters for precedence and guidance. Consider the
editioning practice of Gustave Baumann (

"He usually printed a small edition of 25 prints. If they sold, he printed 50
more in edition II, and 50 in edition III, with no more than 125 of any

I also recall reading that Baumann sometimes lost track and that there may
actually be fewer than 25 in each edition. I also remember that he would
sometimes make changes to the blocks for the following editions. He would note the
edition number on the bottom thusly:

"Rain in the Mountains II 87/125"

Hamburg, NY
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Message 3
From: Aon97 #
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 11:48:25 EDT
Subject: [Baren 27861] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V31 #3043 (Apr 21, 2005)
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Sharri wrote:

> Most contemporary printmakers tend to ignore the old "rules"

Hey, now! Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that you all, in response to my
questions about Dremel tools, declared, en masse, that there are NO RULES?

After all, aren't edition sizes really for the antiques dealers of the
future? We're artists, not estate planners. Our only job is to print with skill and
pleasure. If someone will only buy my work only if it has a certain number, I
don't want their money. OH, I'll TAKE their money, but I don't WANT it. I
figure, I'm selling to people who buy because they like. Because they have blank
walls that need something (to that end, I almost stroked out when I read the
discussions from the folks who keep their prints in acid free folders tucked
away...but, hey, no rules, right? But seriously, even the caveman knew that art
goes on walls,, it doesn't matter, because there are no rules).
So, just print 'em.

Hamburg, NY
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Message 4
From: Barebonesart #
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 15:55:40 +0000
Subject: [Baren 27862] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V31 #3045 (Apr 23, 2005)
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Through many of the definitions offered I think the max. number of prints is the important part - not whether or not they were all pulled at the same time, or whether all of them were pulled, period. The "intended to pull" could be implicit in many of them, and I think is just that for many comtemporary printmakers. When the editioning headache started it was done by galleries and artist reps and was done for well known artists who pulled their entire edition and gave it to one outfit to peddle. Also, most of those prints were done by painters who had master printers do their actual printing. So, IMVHO, todays artists have stretched the editioning # to say "I promise that, in my lifetime, only this number will be pulled." Or, maybe not. Some people pull very small editions and then when they are all sold out they start pulling A/P's by the batch. Now THAT I term unethical :-)

Keep on printin',
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Message 5
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 09:19:17 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 27863] too many prints
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If I had to put all the prints I had on the walls I would need a zillion square foot house. I have been in quite a few of the exchanges, maybe 18 or so, so that alone equals close to 500 prints and being a printmaker for almost 20 years I have traded for hundreds more. Plus I bought some....I figure I have about 1000 pieces of work not counting my own which is piled everwhere. If it weren't for acid free boxes, where would I store them? In fact, I am turning 60 this next week and as a present for myself I am giving away as many as I can to my family....after that I am worried about what will happen to them all when I die. Not that I am planning it soon, but I want a plan in place.

This is a problem all printmakers eventually have if they trade and buy work. I wonder how others have solved it? I have no emotional attachment to it all staying together, but I also would hate for it to be sold for almost no money or worse yet dumped. The local museum would deacession them all anyway as they don't want to store them either...hummmmmmmmm.

Lets have some good ideas here, friends. And don't suggest I send them to you, you have no idea how much room these take up, plus I still like having them and am not ready to make a move quite yet...but I would like some ideas.

I recently bought a painting from Kate, the faithful wife of Jim Mundie, after seeing it on the internet. I can hardly believe I actually bought art off the Inetrnet. I am putting that painting up in my office with all my special stuff. So I do hang stuff on the walls and I love this painting. Everyone who has seen it likes it. I actually have quite a bit of stuff on the walls and my husband rarely says, "get rid of that one"........but once in a while he objects to one. There must be an answer besides rotating work, which I know I am way too busy to do.

I do agree it is a shame for it to all be stored, but as Dr Gordon Gilkey said, those paintings in the museum will be dust in 1000 years and this well stored paper and ink will still be in fine shape. Ha.
Best to all,

>...I almost stroked out when I read the
>discussions from the folks who keep their prints in acid free folders tucked
>away...but, hey, no rules, right? But seriously, even the caveman knew that art
>goes on walls,, it doesn't matter, because there are no rules).
>So, just print 'em.
>Hamburg, NY
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Message 6
From: "April Vollmer"
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 13:18:27 -0400
Subject: [Baren 27864] April News
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Mike, thanks for the exhaustive list of definitions! Still, reality is never
so neat! I always have trouble deciding what to include since my editions
are so variable. I have color tests, etc. It is a good idea to print the
entire edition before numbering, since we seldom have time to go back. But
there can be exceptions, for example, if you are printing an expensive
digital print, you might want to POD...print on demand, and only pay your
printer to print ones that you know will be sold.

Here is my April News:
My article "Contemporary Printmakers in Japan," about the generous
printmakers I met was published in Contemporary Impressions magazine for the
Southern Graphics Council meeting in Washington, DC. I attended, along with
1000 enthusiastic printmakers from across the country, it was great! I had
so much fun that now I am planning to go to the Berlin IMPACT conference
with a group of woodblock printmakers from the Nagasawa program this

I finished printing woodcut editions from blocks I cut in Japan, and
designed two digital books based on my photographs: "The Square Flower
Portfolio", and "Swimming in the Sea of Japan."

Japanese Woodcut Classes: I will spend June 6 to 10 in Santa Cruz teaching
at Cabrillo College, and July 18 to 22 in Santa Fe with Makingartsafely at
the American Indian Arts Institute, a beautiful location just south of the
city. I will give shorter classes at the Old Church Cultural Center and
Guilford Art Center, dates and contact information are on my website. In the
fall I will teach an evening class at the Lower East Side Printshop, which
relocated to a fabulous new space in the middle west side on April Fool's

I will be demonstrating moku hanga at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cherry
Blossom Festival on April 30 and May 1, Saturday and Sunday. Sarah Hauser
and I will have a woodcut exhibition in the Member's Room for the weekend
festival, and I will give a talk and demonstration at 3:00 each day. Come
early or late, it will be crowded!
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, tel: 718-623-7346

On May 8, Sunday, Mother's Day I will give a series of talks for the Newark
Museum's Family Festival, Asian Heritage Festival, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

As usual, I have taken MANY photographs of all this activity, they are
organized by my dedicated webmaster on my website at
The site is easy to navigate, and fun to browse through, but here are links
to the new spring pages.

Schedule of Classes:
Contemporary Printmakers In Japan article:
Southern Graphics Council meeting in DC:
New woodcut Prints:
New Digital Prints:
Buying Prints:
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Message 7
From: Aon97 #
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 13:55:34 EDT
Subject: [Baren 27865] Re: too many prints
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Barbara Mason wrote:

> I have no emotional attachment to it all staying together, but I also would
> hate for it to be sold for almost no money or worse yet dumped.

Fairly new to the game, I really hadn't given any thought to where I'm going
to start putting prints when they build up (perhaps it's because I've
convinced myself beyond all reason that they'll just, well, sell).

Now, ideally you'd like the backlog to sell. Barring that, can I suggest
donating work? I know our local arts organization is always holding a drive to
place members' work in hospital wards and nursing homes. Also, plenty of
non-profit organizations hold auctions (PBS, for one, but plenty smaller ones). I
donated a print to an organization my friend belonged to, and it was accepted with
enthusiasm and was a big hit at the auction. Donations like this don't bring
you money, but they do a lot of good, solve your space problem, and earn you a
little karma.

As far as the work getting dumped once you're gone, well, that only ups the
value of the ones that survive. So, try not to worry so much about the legacy
(and, on rereading your post, I'm hoping you didn't think I was suggesting that
all the work we produce should be hung -- jeeze, no (but that's what my
wife's been proposing). I was referring to a post from a way back concerning people
who refuse to hang or mat prints, preferring to keep them tucked away in
acid-free tombs. Which I'm sure is great for the print's health, but man, they
gotta be free!
Hamburg, NY
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Message 8
From: ArtfulCarol #
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 14:37:04 EDT
Subject: [Baren 27866] Woodblock slide lecture
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Hi Bareners,
Thursday night I gave a slide lecture that went extremely well. Rehearsing
helped-- no lapses of memory, no hesitation, and all went smoothly. The 20
or so people were very interested and had good reactions. My talk was
instructive and enlivened by incidents, sometimes humorous, and I even got applause
at the end.
There were 40 slides in all, some made from computer printouts, and I
started with a 15 minute introduction. The whole program took 1 hour which was
good timing and then refreshments. Taking time out in the middle of the slide
presentation for a humorous woodblock story before continuing eliminated my
thought that I might overwhelm them with images.

When I told about Baren they were amazed. I showed our materials--wood,
paper, tools ,baren, told a little about the Japanese hanga tradition and some
contemporary woodblock printing approaches. Quoting Dave Bull, "If you like
doing something, isn't it better if it takes a long time?", got them smiling

I explained Maria's Puzzle Print idea , how it worked out, and showed the
print. They were WOWED. It looked beautiful on the screen.
When talking about the Lefties Can Carve they got a chuckle out of the idea
and enjoyed seeing the slides.
Also included were Remembering the Firemen of 911 and Endangered Species

I had anticipated most of their questions, so just a few were asked at the

Everything in 1 hour and when this was over I was relieved.!! I would
rather be carving and printing than planning for a presentation.

A lady from the Jewish Museum in NY asked if I would be willing to present
this to docents there. That's an offer I would not refuse.

To anyone who is hesitant about speaking to a group, I can say start small
and just do it.
This improves with practice.

Carol Lyons
Irvington, NY
PS I also showed slides of my Escheraria prints and Loopomania prints.
Bible prints were exhibited on the wall.
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Message 9
From: Shireen Holman
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 14:40:35 -0400
Subject: [Baren 27867] Re: too many prints
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Happy Birthday, Barbara!!
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Message 10
From: "James G. Mundie"
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 18:57:51 -0400
Subject: [Baren 27868] editioning
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Going through Mike's lengthy list of definitions, it's plain to see that
what makes an "edition" is open to interpretation. There is the ideal,
and there is the reality.

Most printmakers I know (myself included) don't print an entire edition
all at once. The reasons for this have already been mentioned: time,
space, and resources. I have frequently said to myself, "Well, I think I
can get thirty good impressions out of this board, but right now I only
have enough paper for five". Other times it was a matter of, "I can
print this entire edition, or I can eat this week." Guess which won out.

So, I'll usually print a representative sampling of any given plate,
indicate what I expect the absolute end of the edition to be, and tuck it
away until later. There have been times when I sold out an entire
edition and was later kicking myself for not making it larger, and there
are other plates (far more than in the former case) that I've never
returned to because there has been no call for it. Why waste time on a
print nobody wants?

Now, if I was working at the behest of a publisher and was guaranteed a
certain amount of cash for the endeavor, I would certainly print the
whole go at once. But working for myself, and selling a print here and
there it just doesn't make any sense most of the time to print the whole
run in a single go and then have the prints taking up space in a drawer.

I should also mention that if my work was more complicated and involved
multiple plates, I would probably be more inclined to do everything at
once - but in that case I would also be inclined to print really wee


James G. Mundie
Philadelphia PA, U.S.A.
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Message 11
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 18:11:19 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 27869] too many prints
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I am more worried about the work I own of other people than my own...I am not very famous but I sure have some nice work by people that are. My concern is someone who is not knowledgable just tossing the work out. I think that thought might keep me going to at least 100 or so. If I live this long just think how many more prints I will boggels the mind.
And I do donate....but hate to give it all away too soon as I still have a few years to enjoy it. I use a lot of it for teaching. I liked your idea about the Nursing homes so I will research that.
Guess we all hate to think we won't be here forever....but the truth is we won't.
Best to you,