Today's postings

  1. [Baren 41167] Re: Woodblock Printing Demo ("Mark Mason")
  2. [Baren 41168] Re: Woodblock Printing Demo ("Mike Lyon")
  3. [Baren 41169] Re: Woodblock Printing Demo (Lynita Shimizu)
  4. [Baren 41170] Re: Woodblock Printing Demo (carol Montgomery)
  5. [Baren 41171] Re: Woodblock Printing Demo (David Bull)
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Message 1
From: "Mark Mason"
Date: Mon, 03 May 2010 20:08:03 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41167] Re: Woodblock Printing Demo
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Hello everyone,

I've read with interest the discussion about the woodblock printing demo
video, and I'm going to back through the recent archive to filter out the
info posted.

But while I'm doing that, does anyone have any advice/tips on doing a
demonstration of woodblock printing?

I'm doing a 2 day demo (woodblock printer in residence, kind of thing)
during an art festival in Southport (UK) at the end of this month. I was
planning on doing it exactly as if I were producing a print for real, but
some of the recent comments have hinted at adjusting the technique to suit
the shorter timespan of a demo presentation. (like using damper paper and a
dry block).

Any comments, advice, first-hand experience, observations etc would be
really welcome.

I was planning to do a couple of hours carving, and then a printing demo,
then back to carving for a while and then to a printing demo again, and so
on throughout the 2 days.
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Message 2
From: "Mike Lyon"
Date: Mon, 03 May 2010 20:36:44 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41168] Re: Woodblock Printing Demo
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I used to regularly demo printing my fisherman and wife print - I could do
an edition of two start to finish (with pre-dampened paper) in just under an
hour (five blocks and about 12 printings per sheet with four colors, red,
yellow, blue, black. Here's the print:

Best to use a block set you're VERY familiar with (duh) and I both describe
what I'm doing as I demonstrate AND (especially for school kids), tell the
story as I print. When demonstrating, I always print the keyblock LAST -
until the keyblock goes on, it's all very abstract and weird looking - when
the keyblock gets printed there's always applause and delight and ohs and
ahs and everybody 'GETS' it...

Pick a simply block set and an appropriate image and just do it!

Carving and sharpening is another demo - about 30 minutes usually. Show use
of different tools and techniques and don't bore them by actually trying to
complete a block - you seen one wood chip, you seen em all... LOL!

Good luck,


Mike Lyon
Kansas City, MO

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Message 3
From: Lynita Shimizu
Date: Mon, 03 May 2010 21:09:35 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41169] Re: Woodblock Printing Demo
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What is really fun, and is what I now do when I have Open Studio, and
even sometimes at art festivals, is to invite people to print from my
blocks. Each year I carve a two-block print that is used only for
this purpose. I never sell it, display it, or sign it ... just let
people feel for themselves the joy of lifting the print. Usually I
quickly print the two blocks in front of people. I then ask if
someone would like to try. I have them sit beside me then I ink the
blocks. I never let them use the brushes as that would invite instant
disaster. (This is for mokuhanga method so we're talking water, paste
and pigment.) Sometimes I register the paper and simply have them
rub and lift the print. Sometimes I have them align the second
block. If you have a large crowd, things can get a bit crazy, but
once a person has felt the process, I know they have received gift
beyond the simple print they are taking with them.
Have fun!

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Message 4
From: carol Montgomery
Date: Mon, 03 May 2010 21:32:22 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41170] Re: Woodblock Printing Demo
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Hi, Mark - I did a reduction linocut at the county fair last summer - it was a spur of the moment thing and fun. People did not have a clue what I was doing but really liked the first cut when I printed it in black. There wasn't enough time to finish - I think I will pick a smaller simpler design next time, Sincerely, Carol Montgomery, Helena, MT
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Message 5
From: David Bull
Date: Mon, 03 May 2010 23:10:30 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41171] Re: Woodblock Printing Demo
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Mark wrote:
> any advice/tips on doing a demonstration of woodblock printing?

I certainly wouldn't bother with carving. You'll get a few crazies who
will stand and watch for a while, but most people will be gone after a
few seconds. Printing will keep them.

Work with just a few sheets in your stack, so people can get a sense
of the progression through the process. Mike's idea of key-block last
is a winner; the 'Ooooh!' factor is very important.

I keep a sheet of clear plastic on top of the 'stack', and slip the
paper back under after each impression - face up. (Don't bother with
separate in~out stacks.) They've got to be able to see what's going
on. (Don't bother with separate in~out stacks.) It's a tiny hassle
having to flip it over when pulling it out to print, but that's not
such a big problem.

Working on constantly dry blocks is a real hassle, especially when
dealing with large areas. I try and keep ahead of this by moistening
the 'next' block in advance while working on the current one.

Keep up the chatter ... encourage questions ... have other stuff there
that you can pass around the crowd for them to inspect while
watching ...

I've got one coming up on the 15~16th of the month, a gigantic (around
100,000 visitors) festival of art/graphics/music/etc.etc.:

There is a video linked on that page that shows the previous event.
It's pretty much total chaos; the set-up instruction booklet I
received mentions that there are 'over 8,700' people exhibiting this
time (in 2,700 booths).

I have a booth in an absolutely fantastic location, a corner on the
main wide aisle that runs between the mini-theatre and the restaurant
area. Every single one of the attendees will be walking down that
aisle at least once sometime during the weekend.

I'm going to prepare a stack of paper under my bench, use a simple 4-
color design that I can print in my sleep, charge up with coffee ...
and get ready for the main doors to open at 11 on the first day ...