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Mystique series #11~12 : image preparation

Posted by Dave Bull at 5:18 AM, January 26, 2011 [Permalink]

Today saw the rest of the image and block preparation, and carving has finally begun. After the Photoshop tracings were finished, I scaled the two images to the proper size, de-saturated them (to print cleanly on my monochrome laser printer), and printed them out onto my homemade hanshita paper - a laminate of standard copy paper and very thin gampi washi:

The thin gampi is only lightly attached to the backing sheet (with 'low tack' spray glue) and is easily separated after printout.

Then it was down to the workshop for the rest of the process ...

I printed out a copy of the 'outline block' onto a thick stable sheet:

That gives me the location of the image areas. I then peeled the thin gampi off its backing sheet ...

... and laid each piece in place on the outlines. Here is the finished hanshita, ready for pasting onto the wood. (I haven't received the calligraphy for the two image titles from Tauchi-san yet, so have just left those spots blank. I will paste those down separately later.)

But before these can go onto the wood, there is another important job to be done. Because there is an area of very fine calligraphy on one of these images, I will have to inlay some boxwood at that appropriate place. This cherry wood is hard, but not hard enough for carving like this.

I described the actual inlaying process on an earlier page of the RoundTable here. An hour or so later, here we are, ready for the pasting step:

Once it's down, the backing sheet peels off, leaving only the gampi behind:

And here we go ... a few strokes just to get back into the swing of it. After dinner, I'll get back down here, switch on the webcam, and get to it in earnest!


Following comment posted by: Margaret on January 30, 2011 12:00 PM

I am really excited about the Kaori Seki print! Even before I read the explanation, the image of the girl on the turtle grabbed me. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

And the YouTube videos are great. You've clearly absorbed a lot about video production from your various brushes with television crews.

Following comment posted by: Margaret on January 30, 2011 12:02 PM

(And by "girl," I clearly meant "fisherman." Ahem.)

Oh, and does Kaori Seki have her own website?

Following comment posted by: Dave on January 30, 2011 12:54 PM

Seki-san has no internet presence whatsoever. When I was at her place the other week looking over her portfolios, I really had to hold back from telling her, "Look, let's make a website to display this stuff! A lot of it is very interesting, and I'm sure you could start to get more work if more people were able to see this ..."

But we're back to the 'only 24 hours ...' thing again. I'm still part-way through getting the Urushibara website done (and waiting for a thunderbolt to hit from collector Mr. Evans, who did a giant pile of scanning for me, which I have yet to get properly uploaded ...)

And the videos ... this is something else I would really like to get into, of course. If this were the same kind of society as North America, what I would do right now is get hold of a local teenager - somebody who has the idea they will go to 'film school' or something when they get out of high school. I think there are rather a lot of such kids around these days. I'd give them the mandate: come and 'camp out' over here for the next month or so, and let's work together to document the entire process of making the next print - start to finish. I'll rent whatever gear we need for this (lights, etc.). Then, once it's all in the can, let's work together to edit it into something interesting ... Maybe make two 'cuts', one with a bit of an arty approach and one with a focus on the practical 'how to' aspect.

It would be great for me to have that kind of thing on YouTube, and good practice/training for him (and I would pay too, of course). Unfortunately, here in Japan, that sort of project would be pretty much impossible. There is no such thing as a kid with that kind of time on his hands, at least not any kind of 'smart' kid. They're all buried in their test/exam preparation, and couldn't possibly do anything like this.

So for the foreseeable future, all you're going to see here are more of these 'home-made' attempts, and because I can't be behind the camera, and in front of it at the same time, we're very much limited in what I can produce ...

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