Today's postings

  1. [Baren 42717] New knives ... (David Bull)
  2. [Baren 42718] large print (Linda Beeman)
  3. [Baren 42719] Re: large moku hanga (Annie Bissett)
  4. [Baren 42720] Sosaku Hanga ("Terry Peart")
  5. [Baren 42721] RE: large print ("Mike Lyon")
  6. [Baren 42722] Re: Sosaku Hanga (Viza Arlington)
  7. [Baren 42723] Re: large print (Lynita Shimizu)
  8. [Baren 42724] Re: large moku hanga (Sharri LaPierre)
  9. [Baren 42725] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V54 #5508 (Feb 1, 2011) (Kristine Alder)
  10. [Baren 42726] Exchange 48 (Kristine Alder)
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Message 1
From: David Bull
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 13:25:41 GMT
Subject: [Baren 42717] New knives ...
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Here's a little item that might be of interest - I saw them on a Yahoo
Auction listing this evening. (I don't have these, just photos ...)

Photo 1) set of five wood-cutting knives (for school use) in a plastic

Photo 2) the top of the storage case folds back to act as a little
stand for the set, allowing easy access to the knives one by one:

But this is the nifty point:

Photo 3) three of the knives have a built-in plastic 'guard'. It's
apparently flexible, bending up just a tad to allow the tool to dig
into the wood. But if the knife were to slip and hit your finger or
arm, the white plastic guard will keep you safe:


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Message 2
From: Linda Beeman
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 14:53:46 GMT
Subject: [Baren 42718] large print
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Mike, I was hoping you'd post. I've watched you videos several times and while I don't want to make a set up like yours I sure admire it! Can I come over and play?! Seriously, I mostly watched to see how you brushed on the pigment. Your brushes look like shoe brushes. Are they or did you have them specially made?

At this point I am just playing with an un-carved piece of really nice grained cherry. I want to experiments with color and gradation. And I'll be using Azusa paper from Baren Mall - whatever size that is.

Humidity - I am going to name my studio Goldilocks Studio because the humidity is always "just right!" Must be mid-Michigan is a good place for mokuhanga. Except for the 5 foot snowdrift that appeared overnight......
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Message 3
From: Annie Bissett
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 15:31:16 GMT
Subject: [Baren 42719] Re: large moku hanga
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I've used shoe brushes. It's true that there isn't as much hair-per-
centimeter on a shoe brush, so you have to work harder to get a
smooth layer of pigment, but it's possible. The worst problem I
encountered with my shoe brush was shedding. After I worked it for
awhile it stopped shedding, but it was very annoying. Anxious to hear
what brush Mike uses on his big prints.

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Message 4
From: "Terry Peart"
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 15:39:33 GMT
Subject: [Baren 42720] Sosaku Hanga
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Hello all,
Hope everyone is braving this severe weather conditions we are having and
staying warm and safe.

I came across this website with interesting work. He calls his prints
sosaku-hangaSand I'm wondering what that means and how it differs from

Terry P
West Seattle
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Message 5
From: "Mike Lyon"
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 16:05:58 GMT
Subject: [Baren 42721] RE: large print
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The big brush I'm using is a 'professional' maru-bake from Baren Mall --
it's the size of a really LARGE shoe brush (I think it's a bit larger than
the largest on on the Mall today) and it's a wonderful tool - makes quick
work of very large printing areas.

For what it's worth, you CAN find shoe brushes which work very well for
moku-hanga Although I've found none which are as good as the 'professional'
bake from Baren Mall, it's not too hard to find better shoe brushes than the
sosaku brushes from baren mall (which I would avoid -- I really dislike
them). Look for DENSE horse-hair brushes -- the more hair the better. The
pig bristle hanga-bake on Baren Mall are also very good.

Even crummy shoe brushes seem to me to work 'OK' -- I guess my own
experience is that a good brush minimizes inconsistent technique. Brush
marks in the prints are usually more the result of excess paste than brush
quality. A really good hanga-bake allows you to brush up a block very
quickly and with minimum effort -- the thick dense hair makes the brush a
better 'buffer' (holds more stuff) so that variations in the amount of
water/paste/pigment applied between each impression are made less
significant by a good brush -- a shoe brush with not much hair will more or
less do the job, but it won't 'buffer' as well between prints so you'll get
more variation from one to the next -- a poor brush is VERY easy to

And SURE -- come on over and play any time!

I've never tried the Azusa paper -- it appears to be a very light weight 27
x 38 inch sheet which will be impossible to 'scissors' hold by itself --
before you build any fancy gizmo to handle paper, why don't you TRY cutting
a stiffer sheet of something porous (maybe a light weight mat board?) to a
little less than the paper dimensions. Lay the heavy sheet on top of the
sheet to be printed and lift BOTH sheets together and deeply curved -- the
standard two handed scissors grip with the corner and side of the printing
sheet extended under the backing sheet enough to allow registration --
maintain the curve so the thinner sheet will be held flat against the heavy
sheet and unable to buckle -- register and drop as usual and remove the
heavy sheet and you should be good to go... Might be worth the slight extra
time and effort of dealing with the backing sheet to be able to do it 'all
by yourself'?

Good luck!

Mike Lyon
Kansas City, MO
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Message 6
From: Viza Arlington
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 16:29:03 GMT
Subject: [Baren 42722] Re: Sosaku Hanga
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i think sosaku-hanga means "creative prints" and that the artist
creates the design and carves and prints it his/herself.
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Message 7
From: Lynita Shimizu
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 17:41:18 GMT
Subject: [Baren 42723] Re: large print
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Linda, for printing large prints, I lay a piece of mylar, about the same size as my paper, on top of the sheet to be printed before it is moved from the stack. I then roll the paper together with the mylar, like a jelly roll, until it is about the size of a long paper towel tube. The right index finger goes inside the tube and the middle finger on the outside for support. You do that scissors hold in the usual way to align it in the kento. The advantage of using mylar is that you can see through for kento alignment. If your paper is really damp, be sure to unroll the tube slowly to avoid buckling.
Good luck!

Lynita Shimizu
734 Brayman Hollow Rd
Pomfret Center, CT 06259
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Message 8
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 18:43:54 GMT
Subject: [Baren 42724] Re: large moku hanga
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Your regular brushes will work just fine - no need to bring in the
horsehair guy. You will plow through the pigment at an alarming rate,
however! I did a series of 6 large prints like this a few years ago
and I couldn't believe how fast that little pigment bowl emptied! I
printed alone, without another to help get the paper onto the blocks
and used an old broom handle minus the broom. I wrapped & tied an old
dish towel around the broom handle (that helped to keep the paper on
the handle). Then I balanced the handle on the backs of both hands
and locked the corners into the kentos and let the good times roll, so
to speak. Lucky for you that you will have that extra pair of helping
hands. I went through appox. ten drops per print for a series of 7
prints and then I came to my senses and went back to a more reasonable
size. We will all be anxious to see what you do with your project.

For all of you who participated in the Baren Cairn - it is on exhibit
at North Bank Gallery in a show called "Massive". It looks gorgeous
on the wall - I wish you all could see it. Anyone in the vicinity, it
will be up for the month of Feb. North Bank Gallery is at 1011 Main
St., Vancouver, WA - hours are 11:30 - 4:30 Tue - Sat. The opening is
this Friday from 5 - 9.

One more thing: I posted to my blog yesterday, but forgot to put any
tags to the post, so it wasn't picked up here. The post is not about
woodblock, but is about a solarplate project I just finished that some
of you might find mildly interesting. This could easily have been
done with woodblock, but I had some of the solarplates on hand and
time was limiting.

I have yet to get to sending the images from this project to my
website, but when I do I'll note it here.

Happy Printing,
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Message 9
From: Kristine Alder
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 23:03:46 GMT
Subject: [Baren 42725] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V54 #5508 (Feb 1, 2011)
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RE: ...I seldom cut lino BUT when recently buying inks at a TO art
supply store I found a product: "Easy-to-Cut Lino" -made in
the USA by Jack Richeson and Co Inc and thought I'd try it
to quickly produce my Chinese New Year's card... it's very
peculiar - looks like lino -is kind of greasy and elastic in
texture - doesn't 'cut like butter' as they claim as does
the eraser like material 'Easy Cut' - haven't printed from
it yet but I'm wondering if anyone knows of or has used this...

I have used this product in my classroom as an intro to lino cutting. It is softer than battleship lino, cuts fairly easily, and is easier for students to get a grasp on the concept of using the gouges. We usually do a small print of practice strokes/cuts in patterns to get things going and then move on to lino and then to wood. I like it better than the "Easy Cut" stuff because it's not as spongy and it still gives some stability to finer lines. The way it prints looks similar to regular lino results, but it does tend to be a bit sticky if it is over-inked even a little bit. One drawback I have found with my students is that it is hard for them to tell just how deep to cut their lines or to clear areas, and without a stiff backing or being mounted on a block, they often go all of the way through the material into the bench hook and/or table. Additionally, because of the nature of the material being so flexible, the dimensions aren't always as exact as one expects in precut lino blocks, even coming from the supplier. I wouldn't necessarily use it for my own print editions, but as a tool for beginners, or even a quick, minimally detailed image, it seems to work pretty well.

My two cents,
Kristine Alder
Baren Exchange Manager

St. George, UT

Art Educator/Printmaker/Book Artist/Graphic Design

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,
but that it is too low and we reach it." --Michelangelo
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Message 10
From: Kristine Alder
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 23:28:02 GMT
Subject: [Baren 42726] Exchange 48
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Hi Bareners!
Just wanted to give you an update on Exchange 48. First, Sharen Linder has graciously offered to coordinate this exchange. She will be contacting participants very soon.
Second, here we are, at the end of the sign up period for Exchange 48 and disappointingly, this exchange is not yet full. As your Exchange Manager, I am here to encourage those of you who may still be sitting on the fence trying to decide about participating to get off that fence and sign up! You have from now until May 1st to complete your print--that's three full months! This exchange does have a theme: Mythology, and is a smaller dimension, Chuban size. For additional information and to sign up go to:
If you are new to printmaking, or if you're worried that your skills may not be "up to par" put that out of your head! The best way to improve your skills is to get in there and do it. If you haven't participated in quite a while, get back on board! I have heard from a few of you that you don't participate in exchanges any more because there are those that don't take the deadlines seriously and there haven't seemed to be repercussions for them. I acknowledge that in the past there have been issues with some participants being very tardy in their delivery of finished prints, but I want to let you know that over the past four exchanges, we have cracked down on those who are lagging behind, and completed exchanges have been shipped out within the time period allowed to the coordinator to get everything organized and put together. Everyone is strongly encouraged to fulfill your committment once you have signed up for an exchange.
Sign-ups for this exchange will remain open for a couple more weeks in order to include as many of you as possible. Don't miss this chance to make and share your art.

Sign-up, Cut, Print!

Kristine Alder
Baren Exchange Manager

St. George, UT

Art Educator/Printmaker/Book Artist/Graphic Design


"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,
but that it is too low and we reach it." --Michelangelo