Today's postings

  1. [Baren 37127] Re: WoodLike Matsumura (Barbara Mason)
  2. [Baren 37128] Re: kento adjustments/printing blues (Graham Scholes)
  3. [Baren 37129] Adjusting Kento (Tom Kristensen)
  4. [Baren 37130] Re: kento adjustments/printing blues (Dave Bull)
  5. [Baren 37131] Re: kento adjustments/printing blues (Graham Scholes)
  6. [Baren 37132] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4546 (Sep 24, 2008) (J Cloutier)
  7. [Baren 37133] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4546 (Sep 24, 2008) (Graham Scholes)
  8. [Baren 37134] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
  9. [Baren 37135] Re: Japan (Jan Telfer)
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Message 1
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sat, 04 Oct 2008 14:09:59 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37127] Re: WoodLike Matsumura
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This was great cross cultural relations for us. I only know Matsumura-san through Sadako and try to be as little trouble to him as possible with problems in the mall. We at the Baren Forum have become a real part of his business, still it is always a bit of an interruption to their normal day to send orders around the world for us. We greatly appreciate his kindness to us and his quick resolution if there is a confusion of some sort. If I only spoke Japanese or he only spoke would be less interesting!
I do wish I could have made this part of the trip to see Matsumura-san and to visit Dave in your pocket.. One day I hope to meet Sadako, as truly the mall could not operate without her.
My best to all
Barbara, mall manager

If you are visiting WoodLike Matsumura it is a cash only store there so
take enough Yen to purchase what you require.

But I was impressed with their service ........ it could be because I
already get my wood sent to Australia from there or I did a little name
"dropping", but they pointed to a parcel waiting for a Baren Member the
gentleman said.

I am pleased I made the effort to visit.


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Message 2
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Sat, 04 Oct 2008 15:23:08 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37128] Re: kento adjustments/printing blues
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Dave”s system works fine when your dealing with the adjustment of the
kento that is along the grain as shown in the url that was attached to
his post.

When the adjustment is needed across the grain it is best to use a
small shim. and white glue it into position. You then trim as
needed, (the grain should be the long way as cutting across the
grain is no fun)
By the way, I have increased the (cut back) to the original kento
about 1/16” so the shim that I glue in has more glue surface for
greater hold.

To insure that the repair is in the correct position, I do a rubbing
with stout (thick) tracing paper and/or frosted (one side) mylar.
Masking tape this onto the plate, I use common everyday office carbon
paper to acquire the image(rubbing). This is positioned over the
other plates to insure the register will be A1, OK, Spot on, On the
money, First class, and Bingo.

On the subject of weather change and the movement with the plate... I
learned the lesson the hard way.
Never store plates on an outside wall.... You know the rule for a
piano.... same for your printing plates.
It cost me 30 sheets of paper one time .... doing the maths....
$300.00!!!!!! I always bring my plates to the printing studio and let
them sit for a few days...

Most of my colours have been printed twice. It assures continuity of
image colour through the edition of prints.

About your Murusaki Baren .... have you applied a little oil to the
By the way using just camilla oil is not recommended... Noboru Sawai
my teacher/mentor learned from Toshi Yoshida that it tends to get too
sticky over time. Noboru always cuts the Camilla oil with a little
fine machine oil. I use vegetable oil.

What condition is the bamboo sheath... they don’t last for ever. It
sounds like it has splits in it which can cause roughness.
The protective sheet of paper (freezer paper is great), I find the wax
paper here, is not able to sustain the rigors of burnishing. The stuff
in your part of the country may be OK . This will protect the print
and allow the baren to skim over the damp paper which can cause the
Baren to “bite a bit“ (gee I like how that rolls of the tongue) and
make it feel sluggish and even rough.

> Does it get easier.....Will I get better? Should I look seriously at
> brayers.......

After you have decided upon and created the image the printing has
very little to do with anything but practice and learning from
mistakes..... especially if you have not taken personal hands on or
visual instruction. - it is all about technique .... it is “a numbers
game“ and is a craft application to do the printing. The more you do
the easier it gets.... You will learn something new each time you
print an edition. Printing never gets to be fun.... well actually it
does .... when you finish the edition and print the last piece of
paper. Whew.....

As it is a numbers game .... yes, you will get better as you do more

If you change to a brayer.... you will not be doing mokuhanga. You
will just be a printmaker. .....

....Sez he running and ducking
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Message 3
From: Tom Kristensen
Date: Sat, 04 Oct 2008 22:30:15 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37129] Adjusting Kento
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If I need to add a little meat back to the kento cuts I try to make
the adjustment with a piece of adhesive electrical tape. I prepare a
length about 5 cm long and three layers thick. I use a straight edge
to trim the ends and cut through the long side to make a side that
will take the edge of the printing paper. I then place the tape over
my kento cut and try an impression. Because the tape can be easily re-
positioned I can get the ideal position without making a permanent
alteration to the block. Some experimentation may be needed to get a
good fix on which block is best adjusted. I find the tape works fine
to carry on printing and I have finished many editions with blocks
that have pieces of tape stuck to them.

The tape method works best if the adjustment is just a smidge. If
things are more drastic and I feel like I need a more permanent fix
to a badly cut kento I will gouge the whole kento out and fill it
with epoxy. This gives me a second chance to carve the kento.
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Message 4
From: Dave Bull
Date: Sat, 04 Oct 2008 23:29:06 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37130] Re: kento adjustments/printing blues
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Graham wrote:
> Dave”s system works fine when your dealing with the adjustment
> of the kento that is along the grain as shown in the url that was
> attached to his post.

Actually Graham, it works just fine the other way too, although it _is_
a bit more difficult cutting the little slot on the cross-grain.

The image there is from a fairly well-used block, and although it's a
bit difficult to figure out the entire 'history' of what has happened,
I think I can see one horizontal adjustment, and three (perhaps four)
vertical adjustments have been inserted. (No idea how many have been
pulled out along the way ...)

> the shim that I glue in

This too, is a bit different from the traditional method here. We don't
glue these shims in place, but just tap them in. The procedure has a
neat twist:

- once you see that you need an adjustment, pick up the little 'stick'
you use to make your shims; it's always lying right at hand next to the

- because it was roughly trimmed off at the time it was used last, it
needs to have a nice clean 'point' cut on it now.

- once the smooth point is ready, stick it in your mouth

- while holding it in your mouth, use the chisel to cut the slot to
receive it

- put the shim in place, and bed it firmly by tapping the end of it
with the flat surface of the chisel

- use the chisel to slice it off, then gently shave it level with the

- get back to printing ...

Why in your mouth? Simple; the wood gets wet, and once in place in the
slot it starts to swell, helping to fix it in place ...

Tom added:
> a more permanent fix to a badly cut kento I will gouge
> the whole kento out and fill it with epoxy.

Yes; that is done here too. There gets a point sometimes where the
'forest' of shims just becomes unstable and unmanageable. Chop back and
insert a fresh piece ...

This is also sometimes necessary when the paper you want to use to pull
more impressions isn't quite wide enough (compared to the batch you
used for the initial printing batch), and the kento marks are 'too far

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Message 5
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2008 01:27:40 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37131] Re: kento adjustments/printing blues
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Anybody ever use wax to fill up the space... melt the wax... drip
drip... gees did I offend anybody... take your wittle knife and shave
it back..
works in a wink... and is the best I have every invented.

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Message 6
From: J Cloutier
Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2008 02:34:13 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37132] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4546 (Sep 24, 2008)
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Hello -

I've been reading the baren forum since last March when I finished a
class in Japanese woodblock printing with Mary Brodbeck at the Kalamazoo
(MI) Institute of Art. I've enjoyed learning from the ongoing
discussions, and I love seeing the exchange prints in the gallery. I
hope to join an exchange sometime in the next year. For now, I have a
question about paper. When you say "Japanese paper", as in the
requirements for exchange 39, just what do you mean? The place I
usually buy paper (Hollanders, in Ann Arbor, MI) has many kinds of
Japanese paper: printed, textured, lace paper, tissue; some very
lightweight, some much heavier; kozo, moriki, ogura, etc., etc. I've
had good results printing on a kozo paper (mulberry fibers, very
lightweight and smooth) and on heavy paper like Stonehenge or Rives BFK
(cotton). There is very fine Japanese paper, but there are so many
kinds - what do you look for, in weight and texture?

Jane Cloutier
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Message 7
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2008 03:13:03 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37133] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4546 (Sep 24, 2008)
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If you are going to carry on with the traditional mokuhanga technique
then I recommend using the hosho paper.
You look for kozo paper that is 100% mulberry fiber, smooth, and is
about 10 momme in weight.
What is momme you ask... the weight I mention here is about 100gm
weight in the western term. You can use lighter weight for small
images... 7 to 8 momme works OK. I have never used anything less
than that.

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Message 8
From: Blog Manager
Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2008 03:55:27 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37134] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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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. (53 sites checked, five minutes before midnight Eastern time)


Site Name: Rag & Bone

Author: Sharri
Item: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...


[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:
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Message 9
From: Jan Telfer
Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2008 12:12:25 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37135] Re: Japan
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Dear David,

I did have my camera with me and didn't really forget to take photos
but on my way to Ome I thought about all the newsletters I still have
of you and your studio and today when I was putting in all my photos I
just put three of your newsletters including the photos you took of you
in your studio and your publications in the middle of my album between
Oyama and all the power lines I took in WoodLike Matsumura's street....
all tied in with Japanese ribbon, so don't worry you feature very
strongly in my Japanese photo album.... but thank goodness you don't
have any of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!