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Spring Sale : Spring Fuji!

Posted by Dave Bull at 2:04 PM, March 1, 2009

The 'Summer Sale' that I held for a few weeks last year - featuring one special print - was quite successful, so perhaps it's time for another one. But we won't wait until August, we'll have it right now, while the plum blossoms are in bloom here in Ome!

We'll do the same thing we did last time; I'll choose one design from among the prints that I normally only distribute in set form, and make it available as a single item. It's 'Spring Fuji', a design by Teisai Hokuba, a pupil of Hokusai.

This is the first of the 24 prints included in my Hanga Treasure Chest, and there is an interesting reason why it is this print in particular that was chosen for this sale.

In December 2004 I was in incredible time pressure on my work. I was wrapping up the printing on the last of the four prints in my Beauties of Four Seasons series, while at the same time getting ready to launch the new Treasure Chest series (and do all the preparation and publicity for the January exhibition). On top of all this, I had to cut and print a few hundred copies of a design for a new year greeting print. It was all getting to be a bit much, and I came up with the idea of doing a 'double print' - cutting a 'two-up' set of blocks that would include both the new year design and the first print in the Treasure Chest.

This wasn't an original concept; making such combined blocks was very common in the old days, especially with smaller prints like this. Sometimes the same design was cut side by side, and sometimes different designs. When that was the case, they were usually selected to use similar colours, and this would really save time in the printing.

I went ahead with it, and cut this set of blocks (the back sides are also used, but not shown here):

One half is this Spring Fuji print, and the other half is the Leaping Carp, which was my new year greeting print that year. Here's a shot taken part way through the printing, with the two prints visible on one sheet of paper:

And a closeup ...

So ... those of you who have been following (or purchasing!) my Gift Prints recently can now 'put two and two together' and will understand why Spring Fuji is the print for this Spring Sale.

Yes ... the Leaping Carp was selected for the Gift page last autumn, so I had to print up a fresh batch of them for that. But that design is the one on the outside of the pair, meaning that the other one had to be printed as well, even though I didn't 'need' any copies just then.

What to do with them ... :-) The order page is here!


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