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The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!
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Author:  David Bull [ Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:30 am ]
Post subject:  The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

Owners of this book who have listened all the way down through the eighth print - the Hiroshi Yoshida design - heard me pose a little 'quiz' in my chat.

"There is a faint embossed line at the bottom of the print, in the lower margin. What is this for ... or what caused it?"

Click the image here to see a closer view, and I look forward to your answers!

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Author:  Tom Kristensen [ Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

I don't think the line was deliberately made, it has no purpose, some might say it is (gasp) a mistake!

Author:  David Bull [ Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

No 'mistake' - it came about as a specific consequence of part of the process of making this object.

Author:  Tom Kristensen [ Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

OK not a mistake, but was it a deliberate feature on your part?

Author:  David Bull [ Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

Hmm .. how can I reply without giving it away ...

The person who performed the action that resulted in that mark wasn't planning that it would end up visible in the finished product. But it was a necessary step.

Author:  Tom Kristensen [ Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

Hmmm... most mysterious - a necessary wavy line in the print margin. It cant be 'necessary' in the making of the paper, nor in cutting the paper to size, it can't be necessary in drying the print. It can only be put there by the baren. And since you are the man with the baren I propose that you Dave are the guilty party. You felt it was necessary to have a wavy line on this print, but I don't see similar lines on your other prints... scratches head...

Author:  David Bull [ Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

Tom, I'm not the 'guilty' party. And there is an incorrect assumption in your list ...

Author:  Tom Kristensen [ Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

I have occasionally found a longish black hair embedded in the paper surface, left unnecessarily, no doubt by the maker of the paper. The finger of suspicion now turns from Dave to ... Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Lead Pipe. But I fear another red herring, here goes... A piece of string at the edge of the bamboo screen on which the paper is made, used to peel the wet paper off the screen.

Author:  David Bull [ Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

OK Tom, you're there ... This YouTube video shows what's happening:


The event we are looking for comes at just about the one minute mark of the video. These people seem to be using quite a thick string; Iwano-san (my paper maker) uses a very fine nylon line ...

Author:  Tom Kristensen [ Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

Nice clip. The edge of the damp paper finally treated with a single camellia leaf... wonderful stuff

Author:  Julio Rodriguez [ Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

Darn Tom, you are good ! I had to pause the video to catch the lady holding the green leave in her lips....

Julio

Author:  Marc Kahn [ Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

Once Julio mentioned the leaf in her lips, looking at it again, I was able to see her do that as well. But, what is the effect of rubbing a camellia leaf around the edge of the paper?

Marc

Author:  Tom Kristensen [ Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

I only spotted the camellia leaf because she had it poking out of her mouth while she was brushing the wet paper, it looked like she had a very green tongue. I guess the fibres on the edge of the sheet may be prone to curling up when brushed out so the camellia leaf is just the thing to seal the edges. Camellia oil is used to keep the baren slick when printing.

BTW I really hogged this quiz, sorry to other contestants, I certainly don't deserve a prize. Next time only one post from me, I promise.

Author:  Mark Mason [ Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

You all beat me to it!
At first I thought it was a Baren impression from a block which hadn't been cleared far enough out :shock: but Dave wouldn't allow that to happen, and the mark wasn't replicated on my copy of Dave's print, so my mind turned immediately to the paper as I'd seen similar marks on the edge of some paper I have.
I'd no idea how they got there other than a vague assumption as part of the manufacturing process. The video clip was fascinating to see, and answered the question perfectly.

Cheers,
Mark.

Author:  David Bull [ Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The quiz about the Yoshida print - enter your answers here!

Speaking of the marks made by the baren as it bumps into areas that weren't cleared out far enough ...

It's my habit these days to use a chisel to bevel off the edge of the unwanted area of wood surrounding any given printing area, but when you look at old blocks, you notice that this was rarely (if ever) done in the old days. The edge is quite pronounced, and shows the direct 'bite' of the large chisel on the wood.

So why don't we see any marks from the baren hitting these sharp edges? Technique. It's another verification of what I mentioned in the 'Your First Print' book - that pressure only goes into the baren through the heel of the hand, and never in other areas. Most of the surface area of the baren just skims across the paper, barely even touching it. So it doesn't matter if it passes across areas where the wood has a sharp edge ... it doesn't touch it anyway.

Most of the time.

But look at this photo ... two copies of an Akashi-ban surimono (one of the same type of surimono that I mentioned in the David's Choice volume), on a Hokusai design of vases for flower arrangement.

One of the printers that day was very careless ... and hit the surrounding edge not just once, but on two different blocks! Either this guy was drunk ... or can we presume it was perhaps a younger apprentice? It seems that the prints weren't released 'into the wild' because I got them in a batch from a dealer down in Kobe ... not too far from where the workshop must have been, all those years ago ...

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