Encyclopedia Outline

Table of Contents of this Outline

Here is a list of the general categories of entries in this Encyclopedia:

Note: The Encyclopedia is in the middle of a major renovation, with the page designs being completely renewed and updated. So you will encounter a mix of old and new as you browse through, which may be quite confusing. Hopefully, it won't take too long to finish the job ...


General Aspects of Woodblock Prints

Tools and Materials

Printmaking Process

Topic: Technical Notes

Visits to Craftsmen

Facts! Facts! Facts! That's all you've been finding in this website! Yes, one needs to have the facts in order to learn how to do something, but there is always so much more to the story ...

No matter how detailed the descriptions become, if the discussions remain purely technical, then a completely false view of any topic is given. Woodblock printmaking is something done by people!

Not all woodblock printers are willing or able to write about their life and work. Should they thus remain unknown to us and hidden from view? I don't believe so. Here are some descriptive visits to printmakers (and print craftsmen) in different parts of the world, in stories that will bring you another face of woodblock printmaking; these are some of the men behind the chisels and barens.



Library of books on woodblock printmaking

Over the years, there have been a number of books written about the art and craft of woodblock printmaking, but as they have hardly fallen into the category of 'best-sellers', they soon went out of print, and are now exceedingly difficult to find. It is sometimes possible to turn up one of these volumes through an Internet search, but even when one is located, it is inevitably priced as a 'collector's item', and the contents thus remain inaccessible to the typical woodblock printmaker.

I have managed to accumulate a small library of these rare volumes, and am one-by-one scanning them in, and uploading them to this web site. Except as otherwise noted, all of these on-line editions contain the complete original text and all illustrations.

Here is the list of volumes currently available. Others will be added as they become known to me (and as copyrights expire, making their addition permissible).

Some of these books are also available as complete downloadable pdf files. See the Mokuhankan website.

Woodcut Printmaking (on the plank ...)

Japanese Wood-cutting and Wood-cut Printing
- T. Tokuno, Smithsonian Institution 1894

Chats on Japanese Prints (in preparation ... partial text)
- A. Davison Ficke, London 1915

Woodblock Printing - by the Japanese Method (eBook available)
- F. Morley Fletcher, London 1916

Tools and Materials Illustrating the Japanese Method of Colour-Printing
- Edward F. Strange, London 1924

Colour Printing with Linoleum and Wood Blocks
- A. W. Seaby, Leicester 1925

Colour Block Prints
- Hesketh Hubbard, London 1934

Japanese Wood-Block Printing (eBook available)
- Hiroshi Yoshida, Tokyo 1939

Hiroshi Yoshida: Print-Maker
- Ben Bruce Blakeney, Tokyo 1950

The Making of Japanese Prints (excerpts)
- Chie Hirano, Boston 1939

The Relief Print (excerpts)
- Watson & Kent, New York 1945

Woodcuts and Wood Engravings, How I Make Them
- H. A. Mueller, New York 1945

Colour Woodcuts (eBook available)
- John Platt, London 1948

Wood Engraving (on the end grain ...)

Wood Engraving
- R.J. Beedham, London 1921

Woodcuts and Some Words (excerpts)
- E.G. Craig, London 1923

A Woodcut Manual
- J.J. Lankes, New York 1932

The Relief Print (excerpts)
- Watson & Kent, New York 1945

Woodcuts and Wood Engravings, How I Make Them
- H. A. Mueller, New York 1945

'Exhibitions' of some interesting prints ...

  • 'Collaborations' - Western designers with Japanese craftsmen
    • Japanese traditional printmaking is a group effort - publisher, designer, carver and printer are all different people. What happens when the designer is a westerner?
  • 'Turn of the Century' Printmakers
    • Colour woodblock printmaking enjoyed a 'boom' in Europe and North America from the late 1800's into the early 1900's. Here is an overview of that 'school'.
  • "David's Choice"
    • An exhibition of my favourite woodblock prints. Some are prints from my own small 'collection', most are reproduced from book illustrations. What is the criterion for inclusion? Prints that made me say "Look at this!" to whoever happened to be in the room at the time I first saw them ...
  • Amateur Printmaking in Japan
    • Woodblock printmaking has been a very common hobby for people in Japan for well over a hundred years now... Would you like to see some of their work? ...
  • Nafuda Prints
    • A selection of small woodblock prints of the genre known in Japan as 'nafuda' ...

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