Today's postings

  1. [Baren 37970] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V46 #4683 (Jan 22, 2009) (Marilynn Smith)
  2. [Baren 37971] Coordinator for Exchange #40 (Gayle Wohlken)
  3. [Baren 37972] Exchange #40 Coordinator (Gayle Wohlken)
  4. [Baren 37973] Re: plate clearing/hygiene (Shelley Hagan)
  5. [Baren 37974] Re: plate clearing/hygiene ("Mike Lyon")
  6. [Baren 37975] introducing a new member (Marisa Escolar)
  7. [Baren 37976] cherry blocks (ArtSpotiB #
  8. [Baren 37977] Interesting use for woodcuts (Tiberiu Chelcea)
  9. [Baren 37978] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
  10. [Baren 37980] show in seattle ("Eva Pietzcker")
  11. [Baren 37979] Re: Interesting use for woodcuts (Diane Cutter)
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Message 1
From: Marilynn Smith
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 14:10:58 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37970] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V46 #4683 (Jan 22, 2009)
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Okay, something is hay wire. There is no link in the HTML version to
reply back to our exchange #40 coordinator. Ther is a link in the old
version, since i get both, have not figured out how to get rid of the
old one and now i think i won't.

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Message 2
From: Gayle Wohlken
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 16:40:09 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37971] Coordinator for Exchange #40
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Below you will find the Exchange #40 coordinator's email address. I
hope it shows up this time in the new digest.


> From: ""
> Subject: [Baren 37968] Baren Exchange 40 coordinator's inaugural
> address
> Dear members of the Baren Exchange 40,
> Thank you for signing up for this exchange. Please write back to me
> at
> so I will know I have your correct
> email
> address. Please don't just click the reply button.
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Message 3
From: Gayle Wohlken
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 16:42:59 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37972] Exchange #40 Coordinator
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Well, I see that didn't work. Let me try this:

If this doesn't show up, then I don't know what is happening.

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Message 4
From: Shelley Hagan
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 19:52:36 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37973] Re: plate clearing/hygiene
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I have found this discussion very useful. I am prone to carving very deep
and I am quickly realizing that this may contribute to some of my carving
woes. I have prepped my blocks for the ox print and I am eager to start
carving so I can try to carve leaving a shallow cut. The will take some
discipline on my part as I typically consider the clearing of blocks very
therapeutic, especially the gouging!


"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have
-Henry David Thoreau
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Message 5
From: "Mike Lyon"
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 21:09:57 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37974] Re: plate clearing/hygiene
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Dear Shelley,

For what it's worth (I'm talking about Japanese technique here, with pigment
applied by printing brush - NOT about brayer roll-up - though a lot of this
applies either way) depth of carving needn't be very deep at all when
there's not much distance between printing surfaces but must be deeper when
there's a larger distance between printing surfaces. If the bottom of the
carved area is FLAT (no peaks between gouge marks, then about .08 inches
(less than a tenth of an inch) has been sufficient for me to print without
blotching in the widest areas (this depends to a large degree on how you
brush the pigment during printing - if I bridge more than about three inches
or so (2/3 the width of my baren), I leave an 'island' which I am careful
not to ink which supports the paper and to helps me avoid tipping the baren
down into the pigment in the 'troughs' adjacent to printing areas. The
maximum width of unsupported cleared areas depends on the paper you are
printing - if it's tissue, you need much more support to prevent the paper
from sagging (causing blotches and mis-registration) than if you use a
heavier or stiffer paper.

Because I am mainly carving with a router since 2004, I've more or less got
the carving part down to a science. I use a 60 degree V-bit to outline the
printing areas (and the islands), so there's a 15 degree slope on the sides
of the areas to be printed - this seems to be a reasonable trade-off for my
work. The shallower the angle (more horizontal) away from printing areas,
the more likely you are to have a somewhat ambiguous edge (like ita-bokashi)
when printing. The steeper the angle (more vertical), the more likely it is
for pigment to pool next to the edge and leave a dark outline or tiny blotch
where excess pigment touches the paper. 15 degrees seems 'about right' and
allows me to accurately carve finer lines while still allowing sufficient
slope for easy brush-up. A steeper slope also seems to help prevent porous
blocks (I'm mostly carving cherry plywood - the cherry ply is great, but a
tiny fraction of an inch below the cherry there's soft-wood veneer which is
much more absorbent) from tending to 'squeeze out' some extra fluid under
pressure from the baren.

I clear with a flat-bottom bit (like a mill) to the bottom of the "V" left
by the router (you can think of my router as a "V" gouge or like the angle
left by using a toh or exacto when you've outlined the printing area, then
go back and relieve the cut, leaving a "V" around the island.

When I carve with traditional hand-tools, I outline with a toh, beginning
with the smallest cuts inside, then moving outward so I always have the
largest surface left uncarved to support the more delicate 'inside' carving.
Otherwise, if I carve the outside first, then try to carve the inside, the
toh tends to push and break the fine lines. So always do the most delicate
carving first. Hope this is clear - it's hard to describe, but there's
usually a 'best' order for carving and it's very logical. Grain direction
relative to cut direction is important as well in deciding on the order of
cutting. For big areas and non-delicate carving it really doesn't make much
difference, of course. Unless I'm working on something REALLY delicate, I
clear after 'outlining'. On really delicate stuff, I usually first make a
relief cut near the edge to be carved so the pressure of the toh moving
through the wood doesn't break the little printing areas. Make sense?

Then when hand-clearing, I use a large shallow U-gouge and remove the major
'peaks' with an even shallower U or with a bull-nose or flat chisel. Even
by hand I don't carve much deeper than about a tenth of an inch or a little
more except if there's no edge support for the paper - then I usually slope
down away from the outermost printing area to the edge of the block (or
beyond the edge of the paper, anyway) so my paper edges don't droop down and
pick up ink. Carving deeper than the minimum required for clean printing is
just extra work.

Well, that's my take on depth of carving - each of us has his own way of
working and there aren't really any hard and fast rules - you just keep
doing it and learn as you go!

OH! As you prepare to get carving again, one 'trick' which will help you
see what you're doing is to tint the surface of your blocks before carving -
that way it's very easy to see what's carved and what's not - with many
woods it's very hard otherwise to see what you've done! I usually use a bit
of sumi or pink or blue watercolor, very dilute, and wiped it all over the
surface with a bit of paper towel or a sponge - doesn't take much pigment
and makes it all SO much easier!!!

-- Mike

Mike Lyon
Kansas City, MO

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Message 6
From: Marisa Escolar
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 04:27:46 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37975] introducing a new member
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Hi All,
I'm a new member of baren -- I've been happily reading for a few weeks
now, and I've joined exchange 40. I read the policy on 'lurking'.
Meanwhile, I wanted to introduce myself to you: I am an SF bay area
printmaker, and am a member of the Graphic Arts Workshop collective. I
show my work in two galleries in San Francisco - City Art and The
Artist Exchange -- and also participate in a number of crafts fairs
per year, like at the Center for the Book. I also have an ongoing
collaboration with a letterpress artist, whose press is called
Albertine Press.
I've been enjoying the exchanges so far, and look forward to
participating in the months to come.
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Message 7
From: ArtSpotiB #
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 06:21:37 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37976] cherry blocks
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After the wonderful cherry block that was supplied for the Cairn print, I
decided to try this wood. I've rec'd the package from McClains, with it still in
it's plastic wrapping. There was an enclosed blurb about how the ends are
waxed to prevent warpage and other hints to allow the block to rest for a while
before using.

There's no rush in my process... gotta get that #40 finished first. Still....
very excited about starting a new adventure with the cherry block.

I'd really appreciate any comments regarding cherry blocks that anyone has to


ArtSpot Out
Benny at OMebase

Underground nuclear testing, defoliation of the rain forests, toxic waste
... Let's put it this way: if the world were a big apartment, we wouldn't
get our deposit back. -John Ross

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Message 8
From: Tiberiu Chelcea
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 11:20:39 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37977] Interesting use for woodcuts
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Came across this music video:

It's for a hardcore/thrash metal group from Indonesia, so the music might be a hit or miss for people. The interesting part about it: the video is stop-motion animation, each frame being a separate woodcut. The jagged style of woodcuts does mesh quite well with the music. Quite an unexpected use for woodcuts.


PS. A bit more info about the art group that made the video ( ). The woodcuts themselves have been exhibited at the second Singapore Biennale.
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Message 10
From: "Eva Pietzcker"
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 13:15:28 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37980] show in seattle
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Dear Bareners in the Seattle area,

I would like to invite you to my show in Seattle at Cullom Gallery. I will show recent woodblock prints (all printed the Japanese way). I won't be able to be there, but it would be nice if someone of you could attend:

Cullom Gallery
February 5 - March 28, 2009
313 Occidental Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104 USA

Best greetings from Berlin--



Eva Pietzcker

druckstelle - Werkstatt für Druckgraphik
Manteuffelstr. 103
D - 10997 Berlin

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Message 11
From: Diane Cutter
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 13:24:06 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37979] Re: Interesting use for woodcuts
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Thanks so much for that link. It was refreshing to see our medium used in such a modern upbeat way.


Digest Appendix

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

Subject: Worried About the Kids
Posted by: Annie B



Japanese woodblock (moku hanga)
Paper size: 14.5" x 10.25" (37 x 26 cm)
2 shina plywood blocks
6 hand-rubbed impressions plus spray paint
Paper: Nishinouchi
Edition: 12

Here's the final print with the clump of Pilgrims added. Bradford's words once again:

"But that which was more lamentable, and of all sorrows most heavy to be borne, was that many of their children, by these occasions and the great licentiousness of youth in that country, and the manifold temptations of the place, were drawn away by evil examples into extravagant and dangerous courses, getting the reins off their necks and departing from their parents... so that they saw their posterity would be in danger to degenerate and to be corrupted."

I have another setting planned for this little group, on the other side of their voyage. Here's a detail of the group:


This item is taken from the blog Woodblock Dreams.
'Reply' to Baren about this item.

Subject: I was in Mexico for my grandma's 90th Birthday
Posted by: alynn

I have had such a hard month, finishing all the artwork for the exhibit at Fountain St. Church, didn?t have time for christmas or new years eve celebrations, or much sleep at all, all because I promised my grandma I?d be here for her birthday, and I?m so glad I came. I met a lot of family, some of them whom I just didn?t remember and some whom I?ve met for the very first time. And best of all;

[This was a summary of the original entry. The full entry can be viewed here]

This item is taken from the blog Alynn Guerra.
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Subject: Website Update
Posted by: Amanda

I finally updated my website The gallery section has most of my artwork from 2008, mainly woodcuts and gelatin monotypes.

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