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Woodblocks in UK
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Author:  Jennifer Martindale [ Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Woodblocks in UK

Can anyone suggest a supplier into the UK of blank artist quality woodblocks. I have long been using the various ones on offer from Lawrences and Intaglio Printmakers, which I now realise are 'student quality' and would love to upgrade. Any suggestions.

Author:  David Bull [ Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodblocks in UK

If you mean a supplier in the UK, then I have nothing to add, but if you mean somebody who will send to the UK, then you might try Matsumura-san here in Tokyo (one of the shops 'behind' the [Baren] Mall).

He has some English pages on his website, and he will deal directly ... if you write to him. Here's the page with his cherry blocks (the same ones that I have been using recently):

But they are heavy, and shipping can be expensive ...

Author:  Hideki Arichi [ Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodblocks in UK

Birch Plywood is available from

I've never tried it but got the link from Nana Shiomi's website.

I find it hard enough just clearing large areas of the ply from Intaglio due mainly to my inexperience with the tools...

Do you know of any UK Woodblock Short Courses/Workshops or are you self-taught?

Author:  Hideki Arichi [ Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodblocks in UK

Hi Jennifer,

Did you have any luck finding woodblocks?

And I'd be interested in hearing about your experience of working with it.


Author:  Mark Mason [ Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodblocks in UK

I use the Magnolia blocks from Intaglio Printmakers, (I think they just call them Japanese solid blocks) and wouldn't say that they are student grade. Matsumura-san sells these (called 'Ho') and although it's a soft wood to cut, I do like the fact that it's solid piece of wood, and not ply, like the Shina that Intaglio sell. That certainly is student grade (a curious phrase really) and much too thin to be any use. I don't know why they don't stock thicker Shina.
I'm only using Shina now for some colour blocks, purely for economy, but I'd rather use the Cherry ply for everything, which I've been kindly given a piece, and it's lovely. I'm almost too nervous to use it!
The only downside with the Magnolia is that it only comes in fairly small sizes, the largest being about A4, but if you haven't tried it, I would certainly recommend it, and have been able to get some fine lines cut into it (by my currrent standard).
Regarding shipping costs of blocks from Japan to the UK, if a few of us UK based woodblock printers would like to club together to do a bulk order to Matsumura-san, we could split the cost of the shipping, and the purchase of the blocks. I recall there being a minimum order for some blocks based on a large full ply board. If anyone is interested, it's probably better to sort it all out 'off forum' so as not to clutter these pages.
You can contact me at
I'd be very interested to hear of any other UK suppliers though.

Author:  Jennifer Martindale [ Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodblocks in UK

Sorry for the delay, and thank you for the replies. The best UK based course that I know of is with Edinburgh Printmakers but I do know of a short course sometimes available through Poole Printmakers, which at least covers the 2 extremes of the UK! I will try the magnolia, it will be a relief to go small again, and I am also interested in following up a joint order, will post direct. Again thank you to all for being such a resource.

Author:  Hideki Arichi [ Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodblocks in UK

Thanks for the Poole Printmakers information. I would also be interested eventually in finding out about sourcing other woods and a joint order but need to be making a lot more prints before I'll be ready.

Author:  Hideki Arichi [ Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Woodblocks in UK

Has anybody tried any other types of ply? ... 60625.html

From that list ignoring the MDF, chipboard and plasterboard, it looks like Birch is the most expensive.

Intaglio in London only does 5mm Shina which seems pretty pricey.

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