Today's postings

  1. [Baren 30799] Re: proofing (Shireen Holman)
  2. [Baren 30800] Re: Paper Sticking to Block (annie bissett)
  3. [Baren 30801] Re: Baren Digest (old) V35 #3460 ("Mike Lyon")
  4. [Baren 30802] Sakura Matsuri ("April Vollmer")
  5. [Baren 30803] Re: Baren Digest (old) V35 #3460 (Barbara Mason)
  6. [Baren 30804] Re: Paper and Proofing ("Ellen Shipley")
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Message 1
From: Shireen Holman
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 10:05:07 -0400
Subject: [Baren 30799] Re: proofing
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With oil based inks you get a very different effect printing wet on
wet compared to wet on dry. In my experience, the best thing to do is
to proof both ways and decide which works better for the particular
print you're working on. When I'm proofing I tend to be impatient to
see what the print looks like, so I'll print all the colours right
away, wet on wet. But I also print extras to save so I can print over
them in a few days to see the difference. There's always a noticeable
difference - one isn't better than the other, it just depends on how
you want it to look.
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Message 2
From: annie bissett
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 10:20:31 -0400
Subject: [Baren 30800] Re: Paper Sticking to Block
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Hi Lana,

Are you printing moku hanga? I've never used Edgworthia, but I had the same
problem with fibers sticking to the block using Echizen Kozo, a thicker
sized paper. I was doing moku hanga and I tried many of the same things you
tried: less baren pressure, a different baren, cleaning the block between
impressions (yuck), drying the prints and then re-wetting them.

Based on some advice I got from fellow bareners and some subsequent testing,
I decided that in my case the problem was mostly a problem with my rice
paste being too thick for the kind of printing I like to do (printing very
large areas of solid color and then overprinting on top of that). I'm still
using the Echizen Kozo and am finding it behaves much better for me now.

You can read about it more on my blog if you like, and you can also read
some of the helpful comments I got:

Best, Annie (Massachusetts USA)
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Message 3
From: "Mike Lyon"
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 09:47:59 -0500
Subject: [Baren 30801] Re: Baren Digest (old) V35 #3460
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-----Original Message-----
From: Lana Lambert []
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 11:51 PM
Subject: [Baren 30796] Re: Baren Digest (old) V35 #3460

I tried to print an edition with Edgworthia. This paper is a type that
McClain's sells. I tried it originally for one edition and found it to shed
fibers profusely onto the block whenever sufficient pressure was applied via
baren for a nice solid colour.


Dear Lana,

I don't have any experience with Edgworthia (or Edworthia) paper, so take
this with a grain of salt -- but it sounds to me like you're allowing the
paper to become too soft (wet) during printing. When you talked about solid
color and baren pressure (you really don't need a ton of pressure to produce
smooth color, but the 'right' baren really helps -- stronger baren (larger
knots and fewer of them) for large areas of color, finer baren (smaller
knots and more of them) for line work or widely spaced small areas of color)
-- it usually takes several printings of the same block and color to build a
smooth and color-saturated area -- this multiple over-printing tends to put
too much water into the paper unless you are really thinking about it and
taking steps to prevent it. The paper is delaminating when damp, right? Or
just melting back into fibers? Several things to consider:

** Is the paper intended for moku-hanga? (I suppose if McClains sells it,
then _they_ think it's appropriate)
** Is the paper sized? Sizing makes the paper less absorbent and therefore
stronger -- unsized papers are more likely to fall apart than sized,
although some unsized papers are plenty strong enough as is and some papers
(like watercolor papers) have heavy sizing mixed right into the pulp.
If sized, is it sized on one side only? In that case, are you printing on
the 'back'?
** Are you printing too wet? The paper should not feel or look 'damp' --
just soft enough to become pliable and accept the pigment-- never 'wet'! If
the paper becomes too soft (wet) during printing then you MUST arrange for
the excess water to migrate out. One way to accomplish this is to stack
just-printed sheets so that recently printed areas are adjacent to
un-printed (hence drier) areas of the sheets above and below. Another is to
interleave prints with dry newsprint, repeating until the paper is suitable
for printing again.

Once the fibers begin to pill on the back side or remain on the block on the
printing side, it's already too late as the sizing (most moku-hanga papers
are sized on one or both surfaces) has remained on the block with the paper

Some papers are much stronger than others -- for moku-hanga you generally
want the strongest paper you can find. That unsized mulberry paper you used
before is VERY strong -- but it is so light-weight that it's pretty
difficult to handle and pretty difficult to get saturated colors because it
doesn't hold much water. The hosho you find in art supply stores is unsized
and VERY weak -- falls apart at the drop of a hat and easily becomes way too
soft (but can still be printed to good effect).

The BEST moku-hanga paper I've used is from Iwano Ichibei (available from
Baren Mall). It's extremely strong and very forgiving (can take a lot of
water before it becomes too soft to print) -- beautiful stuff -- feels so
wonderful when damp and no clumps or other thickness variations to contend

Unsized papers can be used to good advantage in moku-hanga -- because such
papers are more absorbent, the pigment tends to spread slightly (or a lot
depending on the paper and how you control moisture) which can make a nice,
soft, watercolory effect. I used an unsized gampi for this print: -- I had to be VERY careful not
to allow the paper to become too soft (wet) during printing or it behaved
the same as your paper (fibers sticking to the block), and I lost a few
sheets because of that, but most of the prints turned out very well!

Hope something in here might help,


Mike Lyon
Kansas City, MO
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Message 4
From: "April Vollmer"
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 11:12:03 -0400
Subject: [Baren 30802] Sakura Matsuri
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I have an exhibition of Japanese Woodblock prints at the Brooklyn Botanic
Garden this weekend, and will give a talk and demonstration at 4:30 on
Saturday and 4:15 on Sunday.

It is the Garden's annual Cherry Blossom Festival. It is the American
version of the Sakura: no drinking allowed!

If anyone is planning to come, please look for me in the Member's room.


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Message 5
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 09:34:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 30803] Re: Baren Digest (old) V35 #3460
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I would call McClains and ask them...they are good to work with. I think it must have been the sizing in the paper..that is usually what casues fibers to stick to the block. More sizing and the problem is usually solved. I don't think the large size of the blocks had anything to do with this.
Best to you,
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Message 6
From: "Ellen Shipley"
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 10:13:57 -0700
Subject: [Baren 30804] Re: Paper and Proofing
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I never would have thought of crayon rubbings either. I think that's a great idea, especially with the tracing paper. Such organization!

I just doodle with colored pencils until I know what I'm planning to do backwards and forwards. Then I get started, get a brilliant idea (or not!) in the middle and change something anyway. ;-] I can't follow a recipe either.