Printing Process ...
Here is a set of images made as I worked step-by-step through the printing of one of the prints in my third Surimono Album.
The design is a familiar one - from Kaigetsudo Dohan, one of the pupils of the famous Kaigetsudo Ando - and dates from the early 1710s. Although most of the work of the Kaigetsudo school was in the form of scroll paintings on silk, they did make a couple of dozen print designs, and it is one of those which I have reproduced here.
Multi-colour woodblock printing had not yet been invented at that time, and the original was printed from a single block in black ink, with colouring added by hand. These colours though, were very fugitive, and on the single copy of this print that is known to remain, they have oxidized and faded away to nothing. The colours you will see on my print are modelled after a Taisho-era reproduction of the design.
It is also worth mentioning that the original was about 60 centimetres tall, a very large image indeed. Reproducing it in such a small format as this certainly takes away a lot of the drama inherent in the image, but I believe that there is more than enough 'charm' left to make up for it!
I hope you enjoy seeing how it was made ...
Note: Each process 'step' is accompanied by an image of the block from which it was printed. The block images will open in a separate browser window (always the same window). If you have room on your monitor, keep the two windows open side-by-side. You can then simply click each link in the 'menu' on the left, and easily compare the print and the blocks. (If your monitor is displaying images at 72 dpi, the blocks will appear at actual size.)