Redirect ...

Posted by Dave Bull at 9:40 AM, September 17, 2015 [Permalink]

I've been getting emails recently from people who have been following this blog asking 'Dave, are you OK?' …

Yes, indeed! There is a ton of stuff going on here these days, but not much of it finds its way to this little corner. To keep up with what we are doing, it would be better to follow our Mokuhankan Conversations blog, or - for the most active update feed - our Facebook page.


Discussion [0]

A Foreigner's Reaction ...

Posted by Dave Bull at 8:23 PM, July 1, 2014 [Permalink]

I had a visit from a trio of 'editor/writer/photographer' a couple of months ago, and the story that they produced arrived today. Luckily, it's an online publication, so everybody can read it easily ...

The interview was all in Japanese, and it seems as though that's the language in which the story was originally written as well, so some of the sentences are a bit 'funny', but in any case, it should prove interesting; please give it a try!

Discussion [0]

Arts of Japan series : print #8 : shipped!

Posted by Dave Bull at 8:20 AM, May 19, 2014 [Permalink]

So, after all the delays caused by the decision to 'mulligan' it and start over with a fresh piece of wood and re-cut the key block, we're done. The prints flew out of here late last week, and will be in the hands of the collectors 'any minute now'.

Was it necessary/worthwhile?


Here's the image I showed last week, a closeup of a proof copy from Keyblock Mark I:

Here's the similar area from Mark II:

The actual lines don't 'line up' because as I mentioned earlier, I re-worked the spiral pattern so that it had a slightly higher definition - more lines per inch. That helped give a smoother appearance to the tones overall, but the main difference in the new version is the carving. As you can see, it is much less disjointed, with fewer 'corners' and gaps to jar the eye.

The final version is now on the website here.

Unlike most of my work, this one is not the kind of print that is best enjoyed in the hand closeup, but should really be viewed from some distance. And if you take your glasses off, it looks even better! :-)

Discussion [4]

Arts of Japan series : print #8 : setback

Posted by Dave Bull at 10:22 PM, April 29, 2014 [Permalink]

Somewhere just about a month back, I brought you a report on the progress of the current print. In one of the comments on that page, I mentioned that I was 'running into trouble', and so it has turned out. (If you haven't read that page yet, it might be a good idea to do so, as my next comments here only make sense if you understand the concept behind this image ...)

I can partly blame the wood, and partly myself. I used a boxwood block, intending to take advantage of that material's typically hard and dense structure, but it turned out to be quite soft and spongy instead. After carving was complete, the lines expanded a fraction ... a barely measurable amount, but enough to have a huge effect on the appearance of the finished print, and as this particular image totally depends on delicate differences in line thickness for the overall effect, this is a very big problem.

In addition to the block condition, I myself made a rather large error in my carving procedure. The Mellan print that I used as my inspiration for this effort creates tonal variation partly by varying the thickness of the line as it passes over deeper and lighter parts of the image, and partly by cutting the lines farther apart or closer together as required. His lines thus do not form a perfect spiral, but one that is distorted. I say 'distorted' not as a criticism but as a description. The combination of the two techniques results in an absolutely stunning effect.

I wasn't completely confident of being able to control both of those factors, so I thought I would try making my print by leaving the spiral alone and letting the line width variations create the tones. This works just fine, but I also did something else - in places where the image was the brightest, I cut pieces out of my line to create the highlights.

This was a big mistake, as it spoils the 'flow' of the line (Mellan didn't break his at all).

Let's see some images to show you how this has worked in practice ...

'Stretch' to read the full entry | Separate page (with discussion [2])

Narita Airport exhibition

Posted by Dave Bull at 4:41 PM, April 1, 2014 [Permalink]

Yesterday was the setup for the exhibition at Narita Airport. We're in the Departure Hall of Terminal 2 ... right bang in the center of the action!

The prints are on both side of the panel you see there - 50 on each side, along with a small explanatory panel (English on one side, Japanese on the other):

'Stretch' to read the full entry | Separate page (with discussion [6])

Exhibition news!

Posted by Dave Bull at 11:29 PM, March 21, 2014

A great chance for an interesting exhibition!

'Stretch' to read the full entry | Separate page (with discussion [2])

Arts of Japan series : print #8 gets under way!

Posted by Dave Bull at 2:01 PM, March 15, 2014

The next print is finally under way ...

'Stretch' to read the full entry | Separate page (with discussion [5])

Back from Kappabashi ...

Posted by Dave Bull at 2:56 PM, November 23, 2013

New kitchen equipment for our workshop ...

'Stretch' to read the full entry | Separate page (with discussion [2])

Brush rack finished!

Posted by Dave Bull at 8:09 PM, November 6, 2013

The new brush rack is ready!

'Stretch' to read the full entry | Separate page (with discussion [6])

Arts of Japan series : print #7 - finished

Posted by Dave Bull at 3:48 PM, November 1, 2013

The print is finished ...

'Stretch' to read the full entry | Separate page (with discussion [7])

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