Today's postings

  1. [Baren 41129] Re: printing demo - Utamaro beauty (Julio.Rodriguez #
  2. [Baren 41130] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Barbara Mason)
  3. [Baren 41131] Re: Matsuzaki-san demonstration (David Bull)
  4. [Baren 41132] Re: Matsuzaki-san demonstration (Barbara Mason)
  5. [Baren 41133] Re: Keizaburo Matsuzaki printer - the Art of Utamaro (Rowena Hordern)
  6. [Baren 41134] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: Julio.Rodriguez #
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:52:11 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41129] Re: printing demo - Utamaro beauty
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I uploaded a video to the blog showing David's friend the printer
Keizaburo Matsuzaki doing a printing demo......

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Message 2
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 16:24:33 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41130] Re: Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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This is just amazing...just when we think we might know something...we are shot down again.
Too much paste.... too much water..... paper too wet..... we are doing it all wrong as usual and I had hopes I had learned something. ha
He does make it look very very easy and it is a condensed version, still it blows my mind.
I think of Dave as a younger printmaker, maybe 20 years ago sitting beside Matsuzaki-san in the same amazement that we have here watching the video, now people who visit will sit by Dave with the same feelings of wonder and disbelief. How you can do so much of such beauty with so little.
Stay well, Dave, and keep making prints.
my best to all

Site Name: BarenForum Group Weblog

Author: Julio
Item: Keizaburo Matsuzaki printer - the Art of Utamaro

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Message 3
From: David Bull
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 22:04:02 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41131] Re: Matsuzaki-san demonstration
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Barbara wrote:
> Too much paste.... too much water..... paper too wet..... we are
> doing it all wrong as usual and I had hopes I had learned something.

Barbara, not sure what you mean here ... that _you_ are using too much
paste, etc.? Please remember that the quantities on the block at any
time are _totally_ dependent on the particular impression being done.
If you are printing a small area, then only a small amount of stuff
goes on the wood ... And perhaps at any particular moment, his brush
was getting full, so he didn't need to add more pigment, etc. Please
don't look at a single clip and assume that what you are seeing can be
applied _generally_ to all cases!

A bunch of people have asked me questions about this already:
> ...the paper is not in a bag, maybe small run, looks like
> he is just using some kind of a hard mat to keep the
> stack down...

It is of course a small run, but the way he is controlling the stack
is similar to how he usually does it in his normal work. Guys like
this work _very_ quickly, and don't usually keep their paper in bags,
but simply piled up in front of them, topped with a thickish piece of
'cardboard'. (Not the wavy kind of cardboard, it's a flat sheet, quite
thick, that holds a lot of water. They are called 'boru-gami' in
Japanese; I don't know the English term for that stuff. Kind of like
what we used to call 'shirt cardboard', but quite a bit thicker.)

At times when he has a lot of prints in the stack, other sheets of
this are inserted at intervals. If the weather is quite dry, and/or
the printing areas are all small, and the paper would thus start to
dry out quickly, you cut these sheets to _overhang_ the printing
paper. In this demo, he only has a few sheets in the stack, and wants
to be able to work smoothly and quickly, so cut the sheets just about
the same size as the printing paper.

> hard to see how many sheets he was that why the paper
> has to be wetter ?

The paper certainly seems to be wetter than what would be usual. That
may give a poor quality of impression, but it also makes it 'easy' to
get good saturation with minimal effort, which is what you want when
doing a demo - always working on dry blocks (because you are changing
them after each few impressions).

> Also right before he does a second impression on the hair he uses a
> piece of cloth to maybe cleanup the fine that to avoid
> thick lines, overprinting or registration problems ?

No, he is wiping the edge of the hair 'under block', not the block
with the carved hairlines (I believe). This give a kind of gradation
at the roots of the hair, leaving a very nice effect ... You can see
the effect more visibly in this image:
... but in the one he is doing, the area is so small, that it's quite
difficult to get it right ...

> Also when he applies the mica powder he then brushes it
> off all over the place including the face of the geisha...
> why would he want to brush off across the white areas..
> would it not run a chance of some powder sticking to it...

I was surprised to see that too; the usual method is of course to
brush _away_ from unwanted areas, out to the edges of the paper. And
the paper is so wet in this video, that there will almost certainly be
mica left sticking to the face. But because there is no glue there, it
will mostly brush off later, when the print has been dried.

I was also surprised to see him dust that stuff on with a bunch of
what look like kids sitting right there nearby. I would have thought
that playing with powdered minerals in an enclosed space like that
would have triggered some 'health and safety' concerns ...

If there are other questions about this, just post them, and if I
can't help, I'll give him a call for answers ...

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Message 4
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 22:45:36 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41132] Re: Matsuzaki-san demonstration
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I meant me using too much, of course. Alex and I were talking about it (Alex from McClains) and she thought the blocks were already really charged wtih pigment so that was why so first I though he was printing on dry paper but realized as I watched it that the paper was just a lot heavier than what I am usually using. I so remember when we were all in Victoria what seems like years ago (because it was) and you said to Wanda and I "why are you using so much paste and water"? And of course we had no idea why because we were so very new to this process...I still think I am using too much! ha. It is the single thing we do wrong when we start and seems we still need a lesson. My paper is too damp, I am sure but I am using odd lots and not really printing editions, so that changes things. Mostly I do demos and I know just enough to be dangerous.
My best
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Message 5
From: Rowena Hordern
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2010 07:32:13 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41133] Re: Keizaburo Matsuzaki printer - the Art of Utamaro
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Hi Julio,
I am a (silent) Sydney member who reads all the Baren Posts but never gets
around to responding. I am a fine arts student (so very busy) but had to
respond to this one as I was there to see Matsuzaki san live. I felt very
privileged to see a master printer at work, and be able to ask a few
questions. I am a newbie to the Japanese style of wood block printing -
tend to do more of the western style of relief printing, but am keenly
learning how to do the trad. style of printing. Thanks for your post the
video is great.
(from Sydney, Australia)

Digest Appendix

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

Subject: Print Failure
Posted by: Annie B

Here's what I said in my recent interview with McClain's:
"I don?t do much pre-proofing. I like the excitement of just doing it as I go along."
Ha! I meant every word of it. But there's a big downside to that approach. When a print fails, it fails in multiples. I now have 15 prints of John Alexander and Thomas Roberts that I hate. I'm not even going to show it to you, that's how much I don't like it. The blocks are good, but the printing has to be done again.

So what I'll show you instead is a picture of the little ranch house we're going to be moving into 11 days from now.

Which is why I won't be reprinting John Alexander and Thomas Roberts for several weeks.

We're excited to be moving, though. We've been in a beautiful turn-of-the-century Victorian condominium for the past 3 years, but it's a 3rd-floor walk-up which for a number of reasons doesn't work for us. Doesn't work for the dog, either, with his slipped disk problem. The new place has a detached one-car garage that we may eventually turn into a studio for me! Sweet.

My next few posts will be about stuff other than my own art making,but rest assured you'll see John Alexander and Thomas Roberts in a few weeks,  and at that point I'll probably even show you the version I hate.

This item is taken from the blog Woodblock Dreams.
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Subject: Back home and as promised, registration details
Posted by: Maria

Back home again, oh boy do I have pictures!!!
I decided to play with my digital camera and push the features a bit and I fell in love with the "stitch" feature. I mean when you travel the West US all you see are HUGE panoramas...anyhow, we save that for a later post. For now, here are the promised detailed pictures of the registration board thinguie, nicely annotated for your viewing pleasure.

[Long item has been trimmed at this point. The full blog entry can be viewed here]

This item is taken from the blog 1000 Woodcuts Updates.
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