It's a bit embarrassing to post this seeing all the other great first attempts here in the gallery, and I'm sure I'll be able to hear Mr. Bull's sighs of despair when he sees the image and notes all of the "don'ts" that are evident. But here it is anyway.
After Action Report: Lots of things I could do better with this. First, I was using these small post-card sized blocks. Since the postcards are the same size as the blocks, I didn't use registration marks so the little face image of the daruma was off in each of the prints. I'm not sure if it's the bad paper or if I was using a bad mix of ink or of I wasn't rubbing hard enough with the baron, but the image was blotchy. Also, I ended up canceling carving the original image. In the rice stalk, I wanted to carve each of the grains of rice, but I suppose my hangi-toh was not sharp enough in that it wasn't cutting deep enough. Or maybe I wasn't pushing hard enough. The spaces in between the grains wouldn't come away from the wood. I ended up just leaving a bit on the end, and using the sankaku-toh to carve out little bits that looked like grains.
So next go at printing, I'm gonna try to get a bigger block. I guess the small ones would be fine for single color prints. And I need to get more comfortable with sharpening my tools. I don't think I do it right.
All that said, I kinda like the images even with their myriad imperfections. I was thinking of using them as "Thank you for your business" cards to send to customers who by our rice (I farm rice with a guy here on Sado). The little character is what we use as a brand for our rice.