Today's postings

  1. [Baren 38307] consistent prints (Plannedscapes #
  2. [Baren 38308] Re: consistent prints (ArtfulCarol #
  3. [Baren 38309] Re: Extraordinaire (Lana Lambert)
  4. [Baren 38310] Re: Baren Member blogs: (Sharri LaPierre)
  5. [Baren 38311] Re: Extraordinaire (Graham Scholes)
  6. [Baren 38312] Re: consistent prints (Graham Scholes)
  7. [Baren 38313] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Julio.Rodriguez #
  8. [Baren 38314] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Graham Scholes)
  9. [Baren 38315] Exchange 39 update (AEleen Frisch)
  10. [Baren 38316] edition definitions (ArtSpotiB #
  11. [Baren 38317] Re: edition definitions (ArtSpotiB #
  12. [Baren 38318] Exhibit in France (Raymond Hudson)
  13. [Baren 38319] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: Plannedscapes #
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 14:05:44 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38307] consistent prints
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There was an entry a few days ago about prints needing to be precisely
consistent to be of a series.
Have I been doing this all wrong? I treat them as one-of-a-kinds. I only
sell in my little gallery and so run off maybe 20 of a new design when I carve
it and then more for inventory as needed, maybe 10 of an old design. I keep
track of how far up I numbered last time and take up the numbering there.
When I reach the number I set out to make as designated by the bottom number
on the numbering, I retire the block to a demo box. But when printing, I
change papers, change ink colors, often blending some new color into the ink
already on my brayer surface. I try to make each print as flawless as I can, so
I might make 30 and only choose 20 to sign and number. But I might number
those 20 as 1/50 thru 20/50, intending to print 30 more later. I might sign
some of the others as 'artist proof' to give away or use as class samples. But
the 50 total that end up printed from a block do not match each other. No
two might! I have customers who have picked out the same oak leaf print in
three colors of ink but on the same paper to frame and hang in a row. If I
want to print in different colors and papers, how should I be doing the
numbering? Should only one consistent set of them be the 'real' numbered edition and
the rest all 'artist proofs'? Is there a limit to how many artist proofs I
can make then for the variety of ink and papers?
Thanks - Karma Grotelueschen
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Message 2
From: ArtfulCarol #
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 14:17:36 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38308] Re: consistent prints
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Karma asked ,"If I want to print in different colors and papers, how should
I be doing the numbering?"
I think if you call them Variants, the print police will not come after you..

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Message 3
From: Lana Lambert
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 15:04:09 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38309] Re: Extraordinaire
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< I think the work extraordinaire needs to be taken in to the correct context.  If there were enough block printers making a living at this beautiful and rewarding process and they all possessed the swift but decisive skill that this gentleman did, then we can afford to call him and his practice bannal.  However, in light of the fact that corporate industrialization is swallowing up our civilization and lulling everyone to sleep, we can call this gentleman and his practice extraordinaire.  Because some of us grew up in the age where our elders told us that we need not bother with the old ways as they were not necessary anymore and that modern (transisters and petrol) innovation would save us all.  It is we who will still be productive with the lights go out.
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Message 4
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 16:33:01 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38310] Re: Baren Member blogs:
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Yes, it was the way they used to print wallpaper, too - but, don't ask
me how I know that!
It was fascinating to watch the registration procedure, (or lack
thereof) though - and I love that little newspaper trick...

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Message 5
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 16:39:20 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38311] Re: Extraordinaire
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According to the dictionaries ....
“notably unusual or exceptional“
“outstanding or remarkable in a particular capacity“
“very unusual or remarkable“

It is snowing a ton here today....
Snow in March here in Victoria BC is “extraordinaire“.

Pacasso, Matisse, and other impressionist art is “extraordinaire“.

Stenciling is not. It has been done before and is not anything out of
the ordinary. The fact that someone has dug back in history to picked
up an ancient craft form is not exceptional just because no one else
is doing it, (that we know about).

If Dave took those lovely Indian Printing Blocks and started to use
them, it would not be extraordinaire.... it would be same old image
and craft that has been done before. I would hazard a guess,
hundreds if not thousands of times through out Indian history.

Now where is my shovel....
Hell I don’t even own one.

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Message 6
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 16:50:06 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38312] Re: consistent prints
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I would suggest that you mark these as “Variation” which can be
numbered onto themselves.... Some times if there are as few as one or
up to 3 or 4 I will number them with Roman Numeral figures. I/II

I have turned more to doing variation prints.... (if 3 in 19 years is
doing)... and find it interesting to see the results.... I like to
make sure that the variation is significant... it is a personal
thingie.... (>”

You can see my latest effort .....
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the cathedral suite.
The reason I did this is interesting, but that is for another time.

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Message 7
From: Julio.Rodriguez #
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 17:37:37 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38313] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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>"as he makes his way down the paper"... but this is printing on cloth is
it not?

Louise, I think the first design is printed on cloth but the second one
with the color printing looks to be paper or perhaps parchment.....

Sharri, that trick with the newspaper is good, but did you notice how when
he turns corners he flips the newspaper around so as to register the
corners with
the partial ink impression left on the paper from the last step....there
is one turn were he does not like the registration so he takes his time
and does it over...

'Block printer extraordinaire' are not my own words but the title of the
video on YouTube ! In respect to the original poster/source I like to keep
as much of the original text as possible when 'blogging' these clips.

Much like Japanese moku-hanga, textile block printing is an old process
kept going but by a few least at the professional
level....thus I thought the video was relevant in many subtle ways. I can
imagine two hundred years ago an Indian craftsman going about his business
of printing a beautiful new design in cloth while in Japan a woodblock
printer would be printing a stack of prints of the latest Ukiyo-e design
for his publisher.....both men very skilled at their craft and working
with great speed, concentration and efficiency.....yet neither one of them
probably had much say on the design, color layout, etc...... to them it
was simply a job to earn a living. Both men served as part of a team
(designer/artist, publisher, carver & printer). In both cases the output
was not considered to be 'Art' but rather affordable merchandise to be
made available and sold to the general public.

thanks for all the feedback and comments.......stay tuned.....Julio
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Message 8
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 18:15:05 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38314] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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> I can imagine two hundred years ago an Indian craftsman going about
> his business of printing a beautiful new design in cloth

Actually you can look back further than 200 years.... the Egyptian
society used wooden blocks to print designs for garments etc 2000
years BC.

Now that was extraordinaire.

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Message 9
From: AEleen Frisch
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 20:16:26 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38315] Exchange 39 update
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Hi All,

The next-to-last straggler's prints arrived today, and I've drawn a hard
line in the sand for the last person. I plan to collate and mail prints
next Monday, so US folks should start to get them late next week. I
thank all of the on time folks for their patience.


AEleen Frisch, Ph.D.

Exponential Consulting
340 Quinnipiac St. Bldg. 40
Wallingford, CT 06492 USA
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Message 10
From: ArtSpotiB #
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 22:40:02 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38316] edition definitions
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Karma, you sound like you're having a lot of fun! Sales too, congrads. It's
always good to hear a success story.

Size definition of "limited" has nearly expanded to pointless and sillier.
Should we keep the numbers low to keep the value of prints up like the Baffin
Island printers so wisely have done (with some rebellions) or should we consider
the entire definition pointless considering the expodential expansion of
human consumers and new printmaking technologies? These concepts are at the root
of decisions regarding whether to follow tradition or not to do so. Production
and sales may be the more obvious motivators but really, it's also about
population, traditions and mutating philosophies.

As to artist proofs, there's a lot of leeway on this one but not in the
manner you described. Sounds like what others have been saying... edition variee is
the name of your game rather than artist proofs if I understand you
correctly. I admire your search in ethics.

There's a printer's proof, which is for the person/company pulling the print
(when it's not the artist). It is given as a courtesy/perk. Some artists have
increased this number to more than one.

Then there's the artist's proof, which if I am not mistaken, originally was
when the printer pulled A single final copy that actually satisfied the artist.
It was used as a reference. For example, I used to have my prints pulled by
Linda Lee Boyd. I would spoon print a linocut, making a bon a tirer ("BAT") for
reference, often with notations in various areas. Delivering the BAT and
block, we discussed just what was important, including what marks might change due
to using a press vs. hand printed. She would run a copy, then we would
examine it together until we had a working relationship that brought about a
satisfactory edition. As we worked together, she acquired a sense of my style and
would not need to consult but rarely.

Over the years multiples of the artist's proof have inflated. At times
artists have defeated the concept of "limited" using this system. Some actually
create hundreds of "artist proofs". This ballooning effect is similar to the
"limited" editions of over 400 (older printmakers use the number 200). Those in the
know find this level of professionalism either annoying or humorous. As time
has gone by, additional printing methods have sometimes made edition numbers
and the concept of same irrelevant when the plates no longer deterioriates with

It's a strange world out there with changes occuring all the time. And a
beautiful one.

Best of luck in your search.

ArtSpot Out
Benny Alba in studio

If you don't want to fix the final number in the edition, it's called "open
edition", which means unlimited. I have a tiny print that I give to fundraising
that is one of those. It always sells, so I figure it's an "OE" that makes

"Don't give up. It just hasn't found it's owner yet" Artygalz, aol chat room
pal regarding art sales.
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Message 11
From: ArtSpotiB #
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 22:49:25 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38317] Re: edition definitions
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Sorry, I think that I wasn't very clear. There were a few final copies... the
printer's proof, which was used as a reference for the printer and an
artist's proof, which was used as a reference for the artist... both the proofs were
to ensure quality control, acting as an agreement on what was decided.

"Don't give up. It just hasn't found it's owner yet" Artygalz, aol chat room
pal regarding art sales.
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Message 12
From: Raymond Hudson
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 08:12:50 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38318] Exhibit in France
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Those of you near Rouen, France, may way to see the collection of 200
prints and other material in the exhibit "Japan Illustrated." Here's a
link to an article about it:


Digest Appendix

Postings made on [Baren] members' blogs
over the past 24 hours ...

Subject: Chinese block printing for book making
Posted by: Julio

Here is a clip on Chinese block printing for making book pages. After a bit of a history lesson we see what it takes to carve and print very fine Chinese characters and the special tools and printing setup involved.

Bareners Ray Hudson and Bea Gold are influenced by and practice the Chinese printing technique which differs quite a bit from the Japanese process. Here are a couple of references courtesy Dave Bull.

Chinese printing technique description at

DaZhao Village artists at work - video

Block Printing: Woodblock printing on paper, whereby individual sheets were pressed against wooden blocks with......

the text and illustrations carved into them, was first recorded in China in the Tang Dynasty, although as a method for printing patterns on cloth the earliest surviving examples from China date to before 220, and from Egypt to the 6th or 7th centuries.
In the Tang Dynasty, a Chinese writer named Fenzhi first mentioned in his book "Yuan Xian San Ji" that the woodblock was used to print Buddhist scripture during the Zhenguan years (627~649 A.D.). The oldest known surviving printed work is a woodblock-printed Buddhist scripture in Chinese of Wu Zetian period (684~705 A.D.); discovered in Tubofan, Xinjiang province, China in 1906, it is now stored in a calligraphy museum in Tokyo, Japan. The oldest surviving documented printed book, a copy of the Buddhist Diamond Sutra, is dated 848 AD, and a recent excavation . . .
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Subject: The Wonderful Beast
Posted by: Amanda

I printed this weekend for the first time since the fall (my break was due to morning sickness first, then the need to move all my art stuff from upstairs to the basement laundry room). So, that means that I finally got to try out my new Conrad etching press. It has been almost ten years since I worked on a press this nice, and it was amazing.

I decided to pull out some blocks I had abandoned in the fall:

1. Ready to go!

2. Proofing on newsprint. Loving it.

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This item is taken from the blog Amanda's Art Blog.
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