Today's postings

  1. [Baren 32304] Re: frustrated printer ("Terry Peart")
  2. [Baren 32305] Hating Hanga ("Tom Kristensen")
  3. [Baren 32306] Re: Hating Hanga ("M Pereira")
  4. [Baren 32307] Re: frustrated printer (Annie Bissett)
  5. [Baren 32308] Paper for New Year's Cards (AEleen Frisch)
  6. [Baren 32309] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V37 #3710 (Dec 1, 2006) ("Lee Churchill")
  7. [Baren 32310] Re: New Baren Digest (Text) V37 #3710 (Dec 1, 2006) (Elizabeth Atwood)
  8. [Baren 32311] hanga ("Jean Womack")
  9. [Baren 32312] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V37 #3710 (Dec 1, 2006) (AEleen Frisch)
  10. [Baren 32313] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V37 #3710 (Dec 1, 2006) ("Doug")
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Message 1
From: "Terry Peart"
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 05:27:12 -0800
Subject: [Baren 32304] Re: frustrated printer
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50/50 rate, huh? That's about mine, too!
But, I guess I must like it, I keep trying.
My main problems are usually registration. I 'm still experimenting with
trying to find a good method to get the image onto the block in a consistant
I try to gleen any little hints from everyone's posts, and I keep trying
with small, simple images (which is also frustrating - I want to make prints
like Gustave Baumann!)
Renton, Washington
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Message 2
From: "Tom Kristensen"
Date: Sat, 2 Dec 2006 00:58:33 +1100
Subject: [Baren 32305] Hating Hanga
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Jeepers Viza.

Don't give up on us. There is nothing we can't solve.
But you do need good tools and materials and it's all in the barenmall.

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Message 3
From: "M Pereira"
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 03:33:09 -0200
Subject: [Baren 32306] Re: Hating Hanga
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Listening to all your discussion
I fall on thinking that i'm not
a printmaker at all , because
i dont want to learn no more
tecniques of woodcut.
I only like to do B&W,
one color, one plate.
Colored only reduction like
the great Picasso.

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Message 4
From: Annie Bissett
Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2006 09:46:53 -0500
Subject: [Baren 32307] Re: frustrated printer
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Viza, I feel your pain! I agree, printing moku hanga requires wine. Or, if
you're like me and don't drink, it requires quiet, solitude, and intense

Right now I'm pondering the mystery of pricing, so I really related to what
you said about "it costs more to make art than you can sell it for" and that
"people will pay more to frame art than they will for the actual artwork."

The thing about making multiples is that you can sell each piece more
cheaply, but you then you have to actually sell multiples. Marissa, you have
a great attitude about keeping your work available at a reasonable price.
You're fortunate that although you don't make multiples your style allows
you to get a lot of use from each block - very time-efficient and
cost-effective. In my moku hanga work I often spend a long time carving a
block that I'll only use for one print - not cost effective at all! I also
don't enjoy making large editions so mine are pretty small, maybe 10-20

I'm trying to learn how to frame so that at least I can get in on some of
that action. But framing also requires some tools and investment. And worse
for me, it requires *space* which I don't have enough of.

I'm hopelessly in love with moku hanga, though, so every time I hit a bump
in the road and get feeling frustrated or discouraged I put down the knife
or the baren and walk away for a while. Often the time away allows me to
work things out a little in my mind and then when the work calls me back I
know what to do next. I do find lots of little frustrations in the whole
process, though.

Good luck with you roadblock!
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Message 5
From: AEleen Frisch
Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2006 09:58:07 -0500
Subject: [Baren 32308] Paper for New Year's Cards
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What paper do people use for New Year's cards? Thanks in advance for the

AEleen Frisch

Exponential Consulting
340 Quinnipiac St. Bldg. 40
Wallingford, CT 06492 USA
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Message 6
From: "Lee Churchill"
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 09:16:12 -0700
Subject: [Baren 32309] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V37 #3710 (Dec 1, 2006)
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Hey Viza,

>>>I'm starting to hate moku-hanga. My tools suck, my good to bad print
ratio is about 50/50. Everything is expensive. It costs more to make art
then you can sell it for a least for me. and the thing the really makes
me mad is that people will pay more to f@#!ing frame art than they will
for the actual artwork. Sorry for the rant. I really shouldn't print
during the day. Carving and drawing yes but not printing. Printing
requires wine.

I understand your frustration, when I started trying moku-hanga I gave
up on it for a few years but have since gone back and found (at least
some of) the various reason I was having so much trouble.

I can't comment on your tools, but maybe you just need to experiment to
find tools that you are comfortable with. I don't use any 'traditional'
moku-hanga tools at all. I do have a $5 bamboo baren that works just
great but when I don't want to use it I use my fingernails, or any other
smooth object that comes to hand - I've used the side of an ergonomic
scalpel handle, a wooden spoon, a jar lid, etc... as you can tell I'm
not big on expensive toys. The only thing I 'invested' in (they were
Christmas gifts from my husband and family) were a variety of chisels
from Lee Valley Tools, I have had at various times - a wood engraving
set, a Japanese beginner carving set, a Chinese style beginner set, and
a few misc. chisels like a fishtail gouge. Of these I have kept about
five. Those are my favs and I have given my husband those that I never
use (he carves figurines). Other than that I am particularly fond of a
small low angle Exacto knife for doing around my fine lines.

I was having huge troubles getting decent printing until I started
experimenting with various paper weights and sizing solutions. I find
thicker paper (not necessarily the more expensive types either) gets
better cleaner impressions and is easier to place on the blocks but that
may be because I am a novice still. Dave Bull told me to go very light
on the size and that has helped as well. I also discovered that I have
been using WAAAAY to much moisture. I had been wetting my paper so it
felt fairly damp to the touch and having seen a video recently where the
artist added a fraction of the water and was able to essentially wail on
backs of the prints, I'll be changing that in the future!

Even with too much moisture (and being somewhat lazy about registration)
I've found that my print ratio has become more like 80% successful. The
forum is a great source for helping figure out where the problems are
coming from and how to fix them. I find I love the look of the prints
so much it's worth the finicky nature. Though I still do Western style
and mono-printing when I'm looking for immediate gratification!

I hope you are feeling more optimistic today!

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Message 7
From: Elizabeth Atwood
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 11:18:58 -0500
Subject: [Baren 32310] Re: New Baren Digest (Text) V37 #3710 (Dec 1, 2006)
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Interesting note from Viza...frustrated printer.
I'm a good designer.........fairly good carver............But a not-
so-good printer.
I'll have to try the wine. What a discovery!
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Message 8
From: "Jean Womack"
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2006 08:30:32 -0800
Subject: [Baren 32311] hanga
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Hi Hannah,

Maybe you would be happier doing sculpture than hanga. As far as selling prints, forget it. People will buy almost anything printed on a T-shirt, but the art market for fine art prints is very very small. The last printmaker who became famous was Andy Warhol, and he has been dead for a long time. One curator told me that his screen prints on canvas are considered paintings, not prints, and thus are considered much more valuable. If you could print your hanga prints on canvas bags, bandanas, t-shirts, maybe you could make some might have to learn how to make a photo silkscreen out of your hanga blocks. That'll keep you out of trouble for a long time.

Jean Womack
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Message 9
From: AEleen Frisch
Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2006 11:53:07 -0500
Subject: [Baren 32312] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V37 #3710 (Dec 1, 2006)
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I am also quite a novice at Moku Hanga, and I understand your
frustrations. I generally feel completely depressed each time I finish a
project, although also a sense of accomplishment which the final product
cannot quite extinguish.

My process as I have progressed--albeit only rather slightly--has been
very worthwhile and quite surprising. For one thing, I am really
enjoying carving a great deal now, although I hated it at first. Also, I
am learning to match my designs with my skills. My last project was
quite a fiasco in this regard in that the design required registration
preciseness that I am just not up to yet.

I have found that looking at lots and lots of prints by other people
helps me to select subjects and treatments that I can successfully print.

I hope you enjoy the process more as time goes on.

AEleen Frisch
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Message 10
From: "Doug"
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 17:38:50 -0700
Subject: [Baren 32313] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V37 #3710 (Dec 1, 2006)
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AEleen is just kidding about being a novice. I just recieved her Exchange
30 prints, and they are wonderful. Okay, so the subject matter isn't traditional,
but the technique is as good as it gets. Keep up the great work!

2521 W. Dale Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80904