[Baren] is a place where anyone with an interest in the fascinating world of woodblock printmaking is welcome. Its main purpose is to encourage a flow of information among printmakers, to allow them to share their knowledge and experience, and to provide a place where they can get to know each other.
Think of [Baren] as being a 'convention of woodblock printmakers' - but a convention with a difference: held in 'cyberspace' and thus easily accessible to all, and with never a 'closing speech' to signify that it is time for all the participants to end the discussions and go home.
At present, the convention has two 'sessions' in which you may take part:
- the main 'forum' itself, where most of the discussions take place
- a social circle
In addition to these interactive groups, the members of the convention maintain an active 'exchange' program, and are also in the process of building an Encyclopedia of Woodblock Printmaking - a many-year project to provide a source of information on every aspect of this art/craft.
If you feel that you could benefit from attending the [Baren] convention, and feel that you have something to offer the group, please join us; we would love to have you!
A baren is the 'pad' used by printmakers to apply pressure to the paper when it is in place on the woodblock. A wonderful tool made of simple materials - paper, lacquer and bamboo - it is extremely strong, yet capable of incredibly delicate nuance. The baren is the very core of traditional woodblock printmaking, and there can be no better symbol for this group.
"Honest effort and honest communication, that's what counts;
given that, anything goes." - [Baren] member Bill Mixon
"It's in the doing that questions are answered." - [Baren] member Phil Bivins "Cut! Print!" - [Baren] member Dave Bull "If you like doing something, isn't it better if it takes a long time?" -
[Baren] member Dave Bull
"Jûnin Tôiro (Ten People, Ten Colours)" -
"... I consider this discussion about ... what art is, appropriation, editioning, if digital prints are or not fine arts, the deathly sin of using a laser or any other modern tool, etc. ... a delightful waste of time." -
[Baren] member Horácio Soares Neto
[Baren] General Information Message
For those who want to know more about [Baren].
How to Subscribe to [Baren]
If you've decided you would like to 'attend the convention', instructions can be found here.
A collection of some basic questions asked about woodblock printmaking and about [Baren] itself. New members, or beginners at the craft, are advised to peruse these FAQs before posting questions to the forum itself.
A gallery of work by [Baren] members.
[Baren] print exchanges
[Baren] runs an active program of print exchanges, in which the members make editions of prints and exchange them with each other.
- Exchange program Information page
- Exchange Gallery
- SwapShop Gallery
[Baren] Members' Web Sites
Some mailing lists allow people to request a list containing the names and e-mail addresses of all subscribers. To protect subscribers' e-mail addresses, this feature is not available on [Baren], but in the interests of allowing members to expose their work more widely, a public list of members' web sites is maintained.
The newsletter of the [Baren] forum - 'Baren-Suji' - was started in the spring of 2000, as a means of communicating our activities and enthusiasm for woodblock printmaking to people outside the group itself. It is published four times a year, and distributed by email (in various formats). The most recent issue can be read here, and if you wish to receive future issues, you may subscribe here.
Note to prospective members: in order that they may 'test the waters' before joining, the archive of past discussions on the [Baren] forums is open to non-subscribers. Archived [Baren] digests are in 'text' format and can be read by your browser, from which you may then 'save' them if you wish. If you really find them worthwhile, collated sets of digests are available in compressed downloadable versions, so that you may read them on your own computer at your leisure.
Although it is still in an early stage of development, a visit to the Encyclopedia of Woodblock Printmaking is very much recommended. We are also actively seeking contributions to the 'book' from anybody with knowledge to share ...
If you need more information, please write to one of the managers, using the form on this page.
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