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Arts of Japan series : embossment blocks

Posted by Dave Bull at 2:09 AM, March 21, 2012 [Permalink]

What's this?

If I go back one step, and return the block to its place, you can see!

There will be some among the waiting collectors who will not be all that pleased to see this block! Those who received the previous 'Mystique of the Japanese Print' series prints will recognize what this is for - printing an embossed pattern around the edges of each of the prints. I think that the embossment is sort of a 'trademark' of this Treasure Chest series, but I heard recently from one (long-time) collector that he would rather I made the prints in a more straight-forward form, without this sort of decoration applied.

I certainly can't argue with his point of view, as I too of course appreciate woodblock prints even in 'simple' form, but I don't feel at this point that I can 'scale back' the presentation to something more 'bare' - in what is basically a continuation of the previous series - without leaving most collectors feeling somewhat short-changed ...

While I was down in B2 carving, Lee-san was still busy up in B1, trying to get the entire batch of paulownia planed to thickness for our cases:

He built a huge pile of sawdust, and by the time he left for home tonight, he had made a pretty good dent in the pile:

He'll be back again early next week for his next three-day stint, and at that time we'll get this stuff dressed to width, and run the first trial batch of actual cases ...


Following comment posted by: Margaret Maloney on March 22, 2012 1:19 PM

Is the embossing pattern the same as the previous series? It looks a little different, but I don't have the other prints with me at the moment to compare.

Following comment posted by: Dave on March 22, 2012 1:32 PM

The embossing block is indeed a little bit different. I kept the same basic plum blossom layout - that's kind of a 'studio mark' for us here in Ome City ('Green Plum City', literally) - but have changed the characters.

Last time, I took a stylized 'tama' character (from the Japanese word Tamatebako - Treasure Chest) and repeated it around the border. This time, I have taken the trouble to replace the repeated character with ten separate characters, with the full Japanese title of the series: 'Hanga Tamatebako - Nihon no Bijutsu' (Hanga Treasure Chest - the Arts of Japan).

The characters are in an archaic script, and I wasn't quite sure how they would look, but while I was carving this morning, an email came in from Tauchi-san, the lady who created the calligraphy for each of the separate print titles, and she gave me the 'OK', so I'll be carving it this afternoon ...

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