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David Bull - Woodblock Printmaker

The 2015 Gift Print

Each year as the gift season approaches, we select one of the designs from our catalogue, get the blocks out of the storeroom, and print up a batch specifically for this purpose. Our print this year is one that we have never offered here before; Dave used it as his personal New Year Gift Print some years back, but it has never been made available until now. It is a design he adapted from an old illustrated book by Katsushika Hokusai. It is a simple and clean design that shows the beauty of the Japanese paper to full effect ...

Imaginary Landscape

To make the print - which is standard Japanese 'postcard' size (15 x 11cm) - I carved the image onto blocks of mountain cherry, and myself and our staff then used fine quality hand-made Japanese paper to pull the impressions.

A special feature of this kind of print is the way that the printed lines get embossed into the paper. To see this in the way that the viewers of the old days did, one must turn off any overhead lighting and hold the print near a window or lamp. The light falling horizontally across the print will then highlight the embossments and allow the full texture of the beautiful Japanese paper to be enjoyed.

Imaginary Landscape - enlargement

Imaginary Landscape - enlargement

About the Gift Prints ... (including video ...)


We have prepared a little folder for all the prints in this series ...

Folder with Japanese print

... with the print mounted carefully on a backboard, and accompanied by a short descriptive pamphlet giving some background.

The Japanese print inside its folder

The print package is slipped into an envelope ... which is wrapped in a traditional wrapping paper (pattern will vary)

Japanese traditional wrapping paper

It is mailed from Tokyo in a padded envelope with current Japanese commemorative stamps. (stamps will vary from package to package ...)

Japanese stamps

We make the prints completely by hand ... using the same tools and techniques used in the Edo days ...

Cutting the blocks ...

"Hi Dave - I thought you would like to see my daughter's (she has a Masters in Fine Art) comments to me after receiving her woodcut. To say the least she was excited..."

"DAD! Thank you so much for my print from Japan! You would not believe how immaculately packaged it was. I was blown away! The envelope and stamps and fonts were gorgeous. I opened that up, and the little package was origami-wrapped in BEAUTIFUL paper, then another little envelope, THEN a little booklet with the woodcut inside. OH MY GOSH! Where did you find this?! ... Thank you so so much! That was probably the most exciting thing I've ever gotten in the mail."

Sample gift print package
(after clicking, give it a moment to start streaming ...)

Price ...

The gift prints are US$30 - including gift wrapping and packing as illustrated above.

We can mail to you, or directly to somebody on your behalf as a 'Gift from Japan'. The usual way is to include a slip of paper along the lines of: "For Ms. Happy Recipient, here is a small gift from Japan - sent to you at the request of Mr. Gift Sender", but of course we can use any message you wish to include. (At your choice, we can ship immediately upon receipt of the order, or can hold the package back and post it later for arrival in (say) mid-December.)

We have also printed up more copies of the images we have featured in the previous few years, a stylized Mt. Fuji, a pair of birds by Isoda Koryusai, a Meiji image of a young girl, and our very popular carp design by Katsushika Hokusai, and you can choose from these as well. Just select the appropriate quantities on the order form below.

Koryusai woodblock printTeisai Hokuba woodblock print
Koryusai woodblock printKatsushika Hokusai woodblock print
Kobayashi Eitaku print

Gift Print Selection Form

Use the quantity selectors to choose the print(s) you would like. (These can be changed later in the shopping cart.) Each print is $30, gift wrapping included. Postage is a flat $2.50, to anywhere on the planet.

Imaginary Landscape

Hokusai Carp

Heron and Crow

Spring Fuji

Girl playing Temari

Crane at Sunrise

Special Offer: A couple of years ago, this Gift Print page made a very special offer when it first opened - all orders placed before Thanksgiving Day* went into a draw, from which 10% of them were (randomly) selected to receive a free 'bonus' copy of the Imaginary Landscape print, to be sent to any address of your choice (yourself, or a gift recipient).

The offer was very successful in encouraging people to get their Gift Print orders in early (something that helps us a great deal!), so we're doing it again this year!

  • one entry will be made for each print of any type ordered through this page (an order for three prints will get three entries, etc ...)
  • one out of every ten wins a free print (fabulous odds!)
  • the draw will be independently conducted by the folks at Random.org, and on completion, a link will be posted here where everybody can check with them to confirm their participation and the results. (Winners - of whom there are going to be a ton - will of course be notified, and asked where the prints should be sent.)

* (actually until after the 'Black Friday' thing that our American friends seem to think is fairly important ...)

After making your selection of prints please move ahead to the next step, where you can select a payment method (Paypal, credit card, cheque, money order, etc.) and then confirm the order (if you wish). Shipping information for yourself and/or your gift recipients will also be filled in at that time.

If you like this idea of a woodblock print as a gift, but are looking for something a bit more substantial, please have a look at these ideas: