Welcome to Woodblock.com

The entry point for the collection of websites belonging to woodblock printmaker David Bull.


Current news:

  • Our new shop in Asakusa is open! Come and visit for a Print Party!
  • An NHK TV broadcast covering some of my work (in English) can be viewed here.

The Main WebsiteThe 'Table of Contents' page

This front page for the site gives immediate access to all the content - an overview of my work, images of all the prints I have made, stories about them, on-line copies of my newsletter, and many many other things to see and read.

Scrolling down the page you are now on will give an alternate method of visiting much of the site - showing each of the major sections as though they were independent websites ...


Special note!: My new RichMedia eBook is now available! It is entitled 'Your First Print', and is a complete overview of the making of a woodblock print using the traditional Japanese techniques. This is the book I needed thirty years ago when I was starting out in this craft! If this sort of book had been available to me back then, then who knows, I might have actually turned out to be a good printmaker! :-)

Here is the page of information on the book, as well as a link to a free sample download of more than 1/3 of the book content, so that you can see for yourself!


Ukiyoe HeroesChibi HeroesUkiyoe Heroes
 
Chibi Heroes / Portraits

The summer of 2012 saw an astonishing upheaval in life here at woodblock.com After nearly a quarter century of focussing my work almost exclusively on reproduction of classical designs (with a small amount of my own original work thrown in), I have now become involved in a very large scale project working with a contemporary artist - the American illustrator Jed Henry. We ran an astonishingly successful Kickstarter campaign together, and the various print series that have been growing out of that are now featured here. Please take a look at our work on the Ukiyoe Heroes, and its 'sub' series, the Chibi Heroes and Ukiyoe Heroes Portraits. I'm sure you won't be disappointed!


The Arts of Japan'The Arts of Japan'

After a very successful run for the previous Mystique series, I can say completely honestly that this next print project - which will be the third in the Treasure Chest series - is truly 'by popular demand', as many of the collectors wrote and asked me to do another one. The theme this time is both simple, and yet very deep. I will be exploring 'The Arts of Japan'.

The prints are being issued at a pace of one every 4~6 weeks or so, and this time also there will be a beautiful paulownia wood storage/display case.


MokuhankanMokuhankan

After many years of thinking about it, I have finally opened a woodblock print publishing venture - Mokuhankan. My own personal subscription-based printmaking will continue, but now, alongside that, I will publish prints produced by other craftsmen working under my direction. I hope you find some of the prints to your liking! Our current project is the creation of a set of ukiyo-e style prints based on video game characters. Please visit the Ukiyoe Heroes page for more details and updates.


Mystique of the Japanese Print'Mystique of the Japanese Print'

Hollywood can do it, so why can't I? The previous Hanga Treasure Chest was very successful, and appreciated by the collectors, so it's time for a sequel! The Mystique of the Japanese Print is a set of 18 beautiful prints, which will bring to the collectors a good overview of just what it is that makes traditional Japanese prints so beautiful.

The series was completed in early 2012, so the prints are available either as a complete set all at once, or as a monthly 'subscription' over the course of 18 months.


Davie & ChiyoHimi Bull's jewelry'Davie & Chiyo'
 
'Blue Sunflowers'

This is unrelated to my printmaking work, but I'm happy to put a link here to introduce my two daughters' web shops. After coming out of business school, Fumi got together with her sister Himi, who had been making clutches as a side business, and they set up a new brand line ... Davie & Chiyo. They have a web shop introducing the work, as well as a blog talking about it all. In addition to that (very large!) business, Himi also has her own jewelry business, which she runs from an Etsy shop. Please drop over to one - or both! - of these sites, and have a look at the goods - it's very good stuff! (Let them know I sent you ... perhaps you might even get a discount!)


My Solitudes'My Solitudes'

In a radical departure from the previous two decades of making reproductions of traditional Japanese prints, this project featured designs of my own creation. My Solitudes was a three-year project (summer '07 ~ spring '10), which consisted of a set of 12 woodblock prints, each paired with a chapter of a book, together illustrating and describing three of my 'private' nature retreats through the course of a year.

Now that the series is complete, the 12 prints/books are available either as a complete set all at once, or as a monthly 'subscription' over the course of a year.


'Scroll Project'Scroll Project

After the long year of work making 24 prints in the Treasure Chest, I flipped right the other way for 2006 - I produced just one print, making a reproduction of an early Edo-era painting, in scroll form. I also documented the process as I went along, and you can read about it on these pages.


'Hanga Treasure
          Chest''Small Print Collection'

As a result of prodding from collectors to do another series of small prints that incorporates a display stand, I introduced the Small Print Collection in 2006. There are ten prints in this set, making it my most affordable print series ever! The prints can all be seen on the pages here.


'Hanga Treasure
          Chest''Hanga Treasure Chest'

Introducing my Treasure Chest - a set of 24 postcard-size prints, packed together with a storage box that doubles as a beautiful display stand. For yourself, or for a friend, it is a dynamite gift idea ... a beautiful new print arrives in your mailbox every two weeks!

Read all about it on these pages.


'Beauties of Four Seasons''Beauties of Four Seasons'

This section of the website showcases my series of four prints based on the bijin (beautiful women) theme.

Here is the 'concert programme' ...


The 'Surimono Albums'The 'Surimono Albums'

This website displays the delicate and beautiful 'surimono' prints that I made in the five years following the end of my ten-year long 'Hyakunin Isshu' print series. Of particular interest may be the detailed series of photographs showing each step in the production of one of the prints. Get to the site through its main index page.


The 'Hyakunin Isshu' print seriesThe 'Hyakunin Isshu' print series

This website contains the complete set of images of my reproduction set of Katsukawa Shunsho's designs for the famous 'One Hundred Poems from One Hundred Poets'. Making the complete set took me ten years - from 1989 through 1998. It won't take you that long to browse the prints and stories!


The 'Woodblock RoundTable'The 'Woodblock RoundTable'

Using blogging tools, I have created the RoundTable as a place where my collectors (and fans) can offer their comments and discussion on my work.

And it's not just the woodblock prints that are featured ... there is also a large selection of essays to provoke discussion ...


The 'Woodblock Shimbun'The 'Woodblock Shimbun'

Perusing media material is an excellent way to get familiar with my work, so I have scanned/ripped/typed a number of items - TV programs, newspaper clippings, and radio interviews - and included them here in my 'Woodblock Shimbun'. You will find a 'Table of Contents' over on the Index Page. Please take a look at some of the material; I think you might enjoy it!


A Story A WeekA Story A Week

This collection of stories had its genesis in pieces I submitted to various weekly papers in Tokyo. Although these newspapers and magazines are aimed at Japanese people who wish to improve their English reading and comprehension skills, it seems that my writing style - straightforward and familiar - is enjoyable for native speakers too. So a couple of years ago I decided to publish a series of stories on my own, on a special web site devoted to them. A new story is issued every Sunday morning.


The Giant StrideThe Giant Stride - Woodblock Prints of John Edgar Platt

English printmaker John Platt died in 1967, leaving behind a collection of 40 woodblock prints.

This website brings this neglected and important artist back into view again. A unique combination of two traits - he was both a thorough and meticulous craftsman and a man with a 'vision' - placed him in a unique position in the history of woodblock printmaking.I hope you will enjoy seeing his work, which deserves much wider attention. The website is located at: http://woodblock.com/platt


Encyclopedia of Japanese Printmaking TechniqueEncyclopedia of Japanese Printmaking Technique

Very slowly, over a period of many years, I am collecting and publishing information on the traditional Japanese printmaking techniques. This section of the website will never be 'finished', but there is now quite a lot of interesting and useful information here ...


Here is an outline of the topics covered in the Encyclopedia ...
Tools and Materials
- for carving, for printing ...
- wood, pigments, papers ...
- the workshop
- suppliers

Basic Printmaking Process
- Overviews
- preparation
- carving
- printing

Technical Notes
- other carving techniques
- other printing techniques
- one-point lessons
- troubleshooting

General Aspects of
Woodblock Prints


Library
- reproductions of books on wood-
block printmaking...

Exhibitions
- illustrated 'exhibitions' of:
- 'Collaborative' prints
- 'Turn of the Century' prints
- 'David's Choice'...
- Amateur printmaking in Japan...

Dictionary
- Japanese printmaking
terminology...

Visits to Craftsmen

(A more detailed outline of the Encyclopedia is here)