Friday, October 8, 2010

A few years back I wrote on Baren about one of China's premier printmakers...Liao Shiou-ping.Knot X - 1999

Earlier this year, Taiwan’s Council for Cultural Affairs awarded graphic artist Liao Shiou-ping one of three National Cultural Awards. The 74-year-old artist, renowned for blending Western printmaking techniques with traditional Taiwanese and Chinese influences, was recognised for his outstanding contribution to Taiwan culture.

Click here to read an article celebrating the artis's accomplishments.  

To visit a retrospective website with many images and writings click on the image below. Life A - 2005

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mabel Hewit (1903 - 1984)

Cleveland artist Mabel Hewit, whose work is the subject of a delightful summer/fall exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Born in Conneaut in 1903 and raised in Youngstown, Hewit, who died in 1984, spent the last 50 years of her life in Cleveland and Parma, where she produced dozens of colorful prints redolent of small-town and city life during the Great Depression and the decades that followed.

Hewit learned from West Virginia native Blanche Lazzell, a leading practitioner of white-line woodcut technique, who gave instruction in her studio in Provincetown, Mass., during the 1930s. The exhibition's catalog, which presents original research by Jane Glaubinger, the show's organizer and curator of prints, states that Hewit must have studied with Lazzell in 1929, when she visited Cape Cod to attend a class in outdoor painting sponsored by Teachers College, or in the summer of 1933. Judging from a 1934 color woodcut, in which Hewit closely emulated a similar work by Lazzell, the latter's influence was profound and lasting.

For the complete article see:

More images below......

"Mowing", color woodcut, (11" X 9.5") 

"Along the River" , color woodcut, 1959 (8" X 8.5")

"Welcome Home", color woodcut, 1959 (77.8" X 5.6")

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Letterpress Printing - FILMS

Let's go back in time and see what commercial printing was like 60 years ago ! These are vocational films going back to 1947 !!!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Carol Jessen prints at Chemers Gallery

Here are some very nice images by artist Carol Jessen. For more info and links to Carol's work and Chemers gallery go here:

To go to Carol's website click here:



"The Papermakers" (left) and "Slick Tracks" (right)

"Edge of the Bamboo Forest"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kyoto printmaker - Mamoru Ichimura

Take a visit to the studio of printmaker Mamoru Ichimura and watch the printing of four postcard sized images all on one block. Part of "Japanese Journey", a 53 minute film made by Don Fairservice and Mitsue Nagashima during a tour of Japan. Music composed by Jean Hasse.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ukiyoe-Printing using a Vandercook Press

Printmaker Mark Herschede:
"A brief runthrough of the process I'm using right now to make a bank of images using woodcuts. By using tools which are not normally associated with one another, I've been working towards experimenting with mixing processes. Currently I'm researching the technical aspects of printing water based, japanese style woodblock printing on a vandercook through testing and manipulation of the materials involved." "It is my hope to be scoffed at by Japanese moku-hanga printers and letterpress typesetting nerds alike. Please! Feel free to insult my experiments! (Or offer constructive criticism ;-) )! Get angry at my usage of a type proving press to print 'cuts'; become enraged at my seemingly smashing attempts at printing lovingly hand-inked blocks!"

For more info on Mark's experiments visit the links below.

Ukiyo-E printing on a Vandercook proofing press- a quick runthrough from Mark Herschede on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Paul Binnie - latest print "Inazuma" (Lightning)

From Blue Rim gallery in London:
Paul Binnie, May 2010, (New release) Oban, 66 x 32 cm. Edition of 40.
'Inazuma' means Lightning, but is a literary term that brings ideas of fertilising the fields derived from ancient poetry. The large format of this print gives a dramatic feeling of the verticality of the bolt of lightning as it crackles between dark clouds and rain to earth.
Within the edition of 40, there are 14 different printings, including 3 printings of solid black overlaid to achieve a deep, opaque darkness in the heaviest clouds.
To see a vast collection of Paul Binnie's prints at Blue Rim Gallery visit this link.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Australian master printer Paul Smith - Colloblock technique

Watch the making of "Samoan Skin". Working in the eStudio Editions studio printer Paul Smith with artist Dimitri Lihachov describe the process of making a "colloblock" print.
For more on the "colloblock" technique visit

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Keizaburo Matsuzaki printer - the Art of Utamaro

Japanese woodblock printing 3 March 2010

In association with the exhibition Hymn to beauty: the art of Utamaro: printer Keizaburo Matsuzaki of Arakawa-ku, Tokyo creates reproductions of Utamaro's print designs over four days. The master printer has been featured many times on David Bull's website as he is one of David's friend & mentor.


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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956)

Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956) one of the founders of the Provincetown movement of White-line printmaking.
Link here for extensive bio and artist background.
Blanche Lazzell, Commercial Street Studio, Provincetown.

"The Seine boat", 1927,(14" X 12")
"Sail boat", 1931, (12" X 14")
"Provincetown Backyards", 1926, (14" X 12")

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Daisy wood block

This is my first attempt at posting to the blog, hope it works??? I started carving a new block based on my dream. The subject, in my dream, was my daisy. So far I have done a pencil drawing directly on the block and carved the outline with my hanga knife. A small part has been carved away. At first I thought this block might splinter easily, it has given me no problem so far. This block is maple and has a lot of grain, hoping to get some of the grain to show in the print. I am planning to leave space at the top for pins, think I will try white line. Otherwise this will be a reduction print.

Daisy #1

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Desert Island Prints

While carving this afternoon, I was listening to the (wonderful) iPlayer from the BBC in England, and enjoyed an episode of the very long-running program Desert Island Discs. You are probably familiar with the idea ... the host interviews a guest, who chooses ten records that he would take if he were to be stranded on a desert island. It's always an enjoyable listen, and each of the guests always has to explain just why these particular choices were made.
It occurred to me that we here on [Baren] could easily play the same game, so I'll give it a try - not with 10 prints, which would be a bit much, but with three. Here they are (images are clickable for enlargements):

My third print is one that I don't actually own, but perhaps the BBC can afford to buy a copy for me when they strand me on the island. It was created in 1942 by the French designer Paul Jacoulet, being produced to his (exacting) specifications by his hired workmen, Kentaro Maeda the carver, and Shunosuke Fujii the printer (with three assistants).

Le Bocal de Poissons Rouge

It is perhaps fairly obvious why this is a 'desert island' choice - there is enough detail here to keep any viewer rapt for a very long time indeed. Jacoulet cut his own path through the world, and I'm not an uncritical fan of everything he was involved with, but with work like this, he earned my complete respect. I want to produce work of this quality one day!
The second one that I will take with me is one that I own. And the fact that I have had it for many years, and yet would still take it with me, is proof of it's appeal! It is a Meiji-era kuchi-e, one of the prints created as frontispieces for literary magazines of the day.

Woman with Poetry Card

I have written quite extensively about this print in other places, so simply present it here for your enjoyment.
For my Number One choice to take to the island, I am selecting a reproduction print from my collection - a design by Utamaro. This copy was made somewhere around late Meiji, or perhaps in the Taisho era. This was when the level of craftsmanship was at it absolute peak, and this reproduction is actually more finely made that the original Utamaro (from the 1790s) that it copied.

Obvious Love

If you click to see the larger image, you can perhaps see some of the reasons why I have selected this one, and why I can sit and stare at it all day ... the beautiful sweep of the calligraphic lines of the clothing, the wonderfully faded 'cracked mica' background, and of course, the astonishing delicacy of the hairlines, which are carved on two separate blocks, which line up absolutely perfectly, to take each hair from the dark mass at the root, out to the invisible place where it ends. It just doesn't get any better than this, and that's the truth! So there are my three selections ... I hope some other [Baren] members will blog their own Desert Island choices here!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hiratsuka Unichi - Ancient Art Podcast

Episode 27 explores the art and life of one of the most influential 20th century Japanese woodblock print artists, Hiratsuka Un'ichi, including prints recently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago. A pioneer of the early 20th century Japanese Creative Print movement (sosaku hanga), Hiratsuka is steeped in ancient Japanese spiritual and visual traditions, while strongly influenced by the evolving culture of early 20th century Japan. Discover how Hiratsuka Un'ichi broke the rules of the rigidly predefined role of woodblock carver and inspired a new generation of artists.