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tracing paper and nori 
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 18
Location: San Francisco, CA
Post tracing paper and nori
i've traced a design on common tracing paper and tried to glue
it onto shina plywood using nori straight from the tube.

each time, the paper expands and the design wrinkles.
if there is too much glue the design is increasingly deformed,
and tears when i try to straighten it out. too little, and some areas
of glue dry out, leaving the design only partially bonded to the

this is the best i could do with tracing paper and nori (attached).
it really looks like it would be difficult to carve, and i think the design
is more deformed than may be apparent by just looking at it.

i'm going to try the contact sheet method Bull-san describes here:
http://woodblock.com/encyclopedia/entri ... 19_01.html
but trace the design instead of printing it from a copier.

i really wish there were some way to get the image onto the
block in a more traditional way, without copiers, copy paper,
and spray glue.

would diluting the nori with water help? any other suggestions?

btw, this block is about 20x15 cm.

002-001.jpg [ 94.55 KiB | Viewed 43737 times ]

Last edited by Steve Sisney on Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:12 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 18
Location: San Francisco, CA
Post Re: tracing paper and nori
using the contact sheet method (attached) on the back side of
the same block. still getting some wrinkling/deformation and
dry spots, but overall a better result.

i also used a baren over blank newsprint to push the image
down this time instead of just using my palm. this probably
helped a lot too.

any suggestions welcome.

002-002.jpg [ 99.85 KiB | Viewed 43736 times ]
Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:52 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:30 pm
Posts: 194
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Post Re: tracing paper and nori
Thanks for posting, Steve!

The problem is clear - western tracing paper just isn't the right stuff to use for this job ... it wrinkles way too much on contact with water. Almost anything would be better to use. If you don't have access to 'real' Japanese gampi type paper, a very useable substitute is the paper used to re-cover shoji screens. I am sure you can get this where you are; my experience is that all the little Chinese shops over there carry it, in the same section as their rolls of calligraphy paper (too thin) and ink and brushes, etc.

Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:49 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 18
Location: San Francisco, CA
Post Re: tracing paper and nori
this is the best paper i could find for a hanshita locally (shown in
attachment in order of apparent thickness). i think only (B) is hand-made.
i thought (E) was shoji paper, but the internet tells me that it isn't really.
i'm not sure how it differs exactly.

i'm going to try starting with the thinnest (A) although it doesn't appear
to be sized. (B) does appear to be sized, so i hope i can stop there.

comments welcome!

oh, for completeness i should mention that i removed the first hanshita
by resting it face down on a wet paper towel until the nori was relaxed
enough to release the paper. i dried it and plan to continue doing this
until i'm satisfied with the result (which, may be far below some people's
standards at this point). ;)

also, this time, i'm going to try to spray the design with water a bit before
laying it onto the wet nori. i hope this will also reduce warping and buckling
when i burnish it.

002-009-1200px.jpg [ 245.83 KiB | Viewed 43728 times ]
Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:30 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 18
Location: San Francisco, CA
Post Re: tracing paper and nori
i was able to get an image down with (B) without distortion, but
the ink spread. when i tried rubbing some of the paper off with
a moistened finger, more ink came out and made the image

i'm tempted to believe that most of the improvement came from
wetting the hanshita before pasting it down, and that i'm using
too much, or the wrong kind of ink. i'm using a waterproof, indian
ink brush pen to do the tracing.

002-011c-800px.jpg [ 201.89 KiB | Viewed 43724 times ]
Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:16 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 18
Location: San Francisco, CA
Post Re: tracing paper and nori
does anyone have any suggestions regarding the paper i've found locally?

Baren Mall doesn't appear to sell paper right now, does anyone know of an alternative source for hanshita paper?

should i be looking for minogami specifically, or just the thinnest kozo i can find?

when not using a copy machine, what sort of ink should be used to trace the design onto the hanshita to minimize bleeding?

is it normal for some of the ink to bleed when attempting to peel a thin layer from the back of the hanshita anyway?

or, am i having a problem with my ink simply because my kozo is not sufficiently sized?

thanks for any help!

Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:35 pm
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