Today's postings

  1. [Baren 32685] Re: Carving tools advice (Diane Cutter)
  2. [Baren 32686] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V38 #3778 (Jan 24, 2007) (su tamsett)
  3. [Baren 32687] Hangi-to is the go (Tom Kristensen)
  4. [Baren 32688] Re: Hangi-to is the go (Charles Morgan)
  5. [Baren 32689] Re: Carving tools advice (Tiberiu Chelcea)
  6. [Baren 32690] Re: Carving tools advice (Charles Morgan)
  7. [Baren 32691] carving tools (cucamongie #
  8. [Baren 32692] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
Member image

Message 1
From: Diane Cutter
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 11:19:54 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 32685] Re: Carving tools advice
Send Message: To this poster

Oh, Bobbi, yes, I did and I've been meaning to open it up again. Thanks for the gentle reminder.
Member image

Message 2
From: su tamsett
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 11:58:31 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 32686] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V38 #3778 (Jan 24, 2007)
Send Message: To this poster

Hi all,

I am conditioning my new maru bake brushes and have some questions for the more
experienced among you.

I singed the brushes, ever so slightly, beveling the edges. I have worked each brush
for 20 minutes on my "sharkskin" (all tools are from McClain's, who I highly
recommend. I dipped each brush in water several times during the process, as
recommended by the instruction sheet. But these brushes are not as soft at the tips
as others that were used by my woodcut instructors. Should I continue to use the
sharkskin, or should I re-singe? If I re-singe does that mean that I am starting
over from "go"?

Su T
Member image

Message 3
From: Tom Kristensen
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 07:36:30 +1100
Subject: [Baren 32687] Hangi-to is the go
Send Message: To this poster

Tibi asks the Baren forum about carving fine lines. May I suggest a
look in on the woodblock encyclopedia, where David Bull has
illustrated the process of carving hair:
or a comic strip version:

Only one tool is needed for carving fine lines and that tool is the
Again, the design and use of the tool is illustrated in the section
on tools:

300 years of Japanese prints, all based on line work, should be
enough to convince us that the hangi-to is the correct choice of tool
for carving a line.
The only real choice to make is is which size blade to buy. They
range from 1mm to 9mm. I use a 4.5mm Hangi-to made by Michi Hamono.
I also have a 3mm blade, but I find I have better thumb control over
the larger blade. Since only the very tip of the blade is needed to
carve, it is easy to do fine work with a large blade. The smaller
blades can be easily broken in the hands of a beginner, as I
discovered . The price for a good hangi-to is between $20 and $25 and
it will be the best money you will ever spend as a woodblock printmaker.

Then you might consider buying a clearing gouge and a good quality

Tom in Australia
Member image

Message 4
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 13:06:54 -0800
Subject: [Baren 32688] Re: Hangi-to is the go
Send Message: To this poster

Hello Tom,

The question was about fine details, not just "fine lines".

>recently I have been working on a project that involves carving a
>lot of letters and fine details (the size of the block is
>4x6"/10x15cm), and found out that my tools (a Niji set) are quite
>inadequate for the small spaces between the letters and details.

For some details, many of us find it difficult to even fit the To
into the space we are trying to carve. For some very small details, a
small rotary tool does a better job than the To ... for example,
think about carving the center of a very small letter "o". Perhaps
with a lot of patience, just the right wood, and many years of
experience, you might be able to do it with a To ... but why fight
it? There is nothing magical, mystical, nor holy about Japanese
tools. Indeed, according to a book I have, many modern Japanese wood
block printmakers use snap-off blade box cutters. Soooo, I suggest we
should use whatever we find convenient for our method of working and
level of experience. Choose your tools to fit your personal style and
the job at hand. When the print comes out clean with lots of detail
that does not fill in, the tool used to do the carving is pretty much

Cheers ..... Charles
Member image

Message 5
From: Tiberiu Chelcea
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 13:11:44 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 32689] Re: Carving tools advice
Send Message: To this poster


thanks everyone for the wealth of information -- and hi to some people
I've recognized from wetcanvas. Currently, I'm also trying what Diane
has suggested to carve small lines, but it's a bit hard to do it when
the area to be cleaned is irregular, plus the raised lines between two
such carved lines tend to depress or collapse (depending on the
wood). Charles, I will definitely keep in mind the wood burning
equipment, but probably now it's a bit outside my range. I'm leaning
towards buying some tools from McClain's, (Ian, thanks for suggestion)
-- forgot about them.

Thanks everyone,
Member image

Message 6
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 13:14:31 -0800
Subject: [Baren 32690] Re: Carving tools advice
Send Message: To this poster

Hello Bobbi,

Yep, those woodburners just remove wood ... and that's how you make a
wood cut. I usually sand the surface of the block lightly after the
burning, just so I can see clearly how the "carving" looks. And I
sometimes use a micro carving tool to clean up the edges if they look rough.

A lot of wood carvers use wood burning equipment for small detail.
Some time back I saw a web site (can't recall the URL now) of someone
who was doing great wood block prints using only wood burning
equipment. I cannot recall whether he was doing Australian aborigine
designs or US southwest native designs ... but I thought they were
very neat indeed. Perhaps someone else will recall the site.

Cheers ...... Charles
Member image

Message 7
From: cucamongie #
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 18:01:49 -0500
Subject: [Baren 32691] carving tools
Send Message: To this poster

I have the Futatsu Wari Moku Hanga To "professional two-part woodblock printing tools" from Mcclain's.
They are probably much better quality than the less expensive tools on that site, plus you can replace the blades if necessary. They come in a wide variety of sizes, so you can get teeny tiny ones if you need.

As far as the larger clearing tools, I use the tools on this McClain's page

they are AWESOME and can make clearing away large areas so much easier than if you are struggling with tools too small or otherwise inadequate.

I have some less expensive Japanese tools and find that they do not sharpen up as well as the fancy ones. I believe it's worth it in the long run to start out with decent tools so you are not starting out at a disadvantage.

my two cents :)

Member image

Message 8
From: Blog Manager
Date: 25 Jan 2007 04:55:20 -0000
Subject: [Baren 32692] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
Send Message: To this poster

This is an automatic update message being sent to [Baren] by the forum blog software.

The following new entries were found on the listed printmaker's websites during the past 24 hours. (28 sites checked, five minutes before midnight Eastern time)


Site Name: Woodblock Dreams

Author: Annie B
Item: The Oil Companies


Site Name: Mike Lyon's Moku Hanga

Author: Mike Lyon
Item: Painting machine tests -- photos and a movie


Site Name: Mellissa Read-Devine

Author: Miss
Item: Doggone it

Must be on a 'doggy' theme at the mom...


Site Name: Belinda Del Pesco Fine Art Blog

Author: bdelpesco
Item: Back in the Studio

Author: bdelpesco
Item: Fish Fountain: Monotype, Watercolor & Colored Pencil

Author: bdelpesco
Item: Monotype & Watercolor: Arizona & Angel Face Roses

Author: bdelpesco
Item: Watercolor on Yupo: Pink & Yellow Turban


Site Name: Blue Notes - A Printmaking Sojourn

Author: AG
Item: Printing Day


[Baren] members: if you have a printmaking blog (or a website with a published ATOM feed), and wish it to be included in this daily checklist, please write to the Baren Blog Manager at:

For reference, sites/blogs currently being checked are: