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My First Print - A Journal 
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:24 am
Posts: 5
Post My First Print - A Journal
Hi there, I'm new here and to woodblock printing in general. I just finished reading David's book and really looking forward to give it a try. This thread will be my journal for this project.

The first thing will be finding suitable tools and supplies in Germany, especially some wood blocks and a baren. I'll post some links, if there is somebody else from Germany and, like me, doesn't want to import everything from Japan ;-)

baren: http://www.boesner.com/boesner/servlet/ ... 8062:-6035
A very affordable beginners baren (3.22 Euro), and they have a lot of shops scattered throughout Germany.

wood: http://www.hobbyholz.de/catalog/product ... cts_id=112
I ordered 20x20x3 cm solid Cherry (3.30 Euro a piece). Hopefully the difference between european and japanese cherry isn't too big.


Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:35 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:30 pm
Posts: 194
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Post Re: My First Print - A Journal
I suspect the cherrywood will work just fine. Even though the sub-species is different, I guess it will probably have similar characteristics of water absorption, etc.

But the baren ... well, good luck with that! Going by the photo on the page you linked, that is the kind of baren given out to elementary school students for their 'art classes'. It's made from cardboard and string, and won't allow much pressure to be applied at all ... If I'm mistaken, please report back to us! :)


Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:18 am
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:24 am
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Post Re: My First Print - A Journal
You are right, the baren is just cardboard with a bamboo cover, but I was able to buy it from the boesner shop in Hannover, and they even had it in stock. The most difficult part in getting the baren was taking the right bus ;-)

The wood was coated with paraffin wax on the sides, getting this off was a bit messy. I hope it doesn't affect printing. Also, it was a bit rough. With hindsight I think I should have used sandpaper or a plane first to make it smoother.

Carving was fun. I took a part of the "Crows and Moon" image and made two blocks, one with the crows and the branch and another with the moon. Outlining the crows was easy, I just printed the picture and pierced through the paper.

Image

With the blocks finished I made a very simple attempt at printing. Just some black watercolour and normal paper. It looks rather patchy.

Image

I'm not sure what to try next. Making the rice paste, sanding/planing the blocks surface or getting better paper.


Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:23 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:30 pm
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
Post Re: My First Print - A Journal
Hey, you're on the way ... !

Your pigment is way too thin - to make the kind of black impression needed for that image, the pigment has to be kind of 'gloopy', not watery at all. And yes, prepare some paste; at this point you don't need to start mixing it yourself, just get a tube of any 'whitish' type of paste - school stuff, or even wallpaper paste. You want something that isn't too sticky - it should be smooth and creamy in texture ...

Good Japanese paper will be an essential later on, when you are trying to make the actual print itself, but even on junk 'copy paper' you should be able to get a smooth and deep black impression.

And you have read the 'Printing Catch 22' page of the Your First Print eBook, right? Don't try making just a single copy at a time ...

Looking good so far!


Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:42 am
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:24 am
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Post Re: My First Print - A Journal
David Bull wrote:
Your pigment is way too thin - to make the kind of black impression needed for that image, the pigment has to be kind of 'gloopy', not watery at all. And yes, prepare some paste; at this point you don't need to start mixing it yourself, just get a tube of any 'whitish' type of paste - school stuff, or even wallpaper paste. You want something that isn't too sticky - it should be smooth and creamy in texture ...

Now I get it: paste isn't "Paste" in German, it's "Kleister". All the time I thought the only way to get something like rice paste is to make it myself. It's Always confusing when the same word doesn't mean the same thing.

David Bull wrote:
And you have read the 'Printing Catch 22' page of the Your First Print eBook, right? Don't try making just a single copy at a time ...

I have a dozen prints looking exactly the same :D


Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:40 am
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:24 am
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Post Re: My First Print - A Journal
Turns out the biggest problem was the surface I was working on. I tried to get the right angle for the block, but the base was too soft. After switching to the floor the prints turned out much better.

Also I didn't dilute the watercolour this time, I used it straight out of the tube.

Image

Image


Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:54 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:30 pm
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Post Re: My First Print - A Journal
Looking much better, indeed! Later on, with 'real' paper, it will look even better!

I'm thinking that the thicker pigment has been much more important than the 'floor' though ...


Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:40 am
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