Japanese Woodblock Printmaking

Made my way up to Shinjuku to Keio Plaza Hotel’s Lobby Gallery to see a gorgeous woodblock printing exhibition by some of Japan’s top printmakers. Super excited to see work by my lovely friend Louise Rouse included!

Louise’s pieces are brilliant standouts and her invitation to exhibit exemplifies a great future for a traditional craft.

Louise created her “Ropes, Cords, Bonds” and “Hybrids” pieces using Chine-colle techniques. Per Wikipedia, “Chinecollé is a special technique in printmaking, in which the image is transferred to a surface that is bonded to a heavier support in the printing process. One purpose is to allow the printmaker to print on a much more delicate surface, such as Japanese paper or linen, which pulls finer details off the plate.”

She is an Adjunct Professor in the art program at Temple University, Japan, and co-teaches workshops with master woodblock carver Motoharu Asaka. This summer they are offering a course to teach the full process of woodblock printmaking from start to finish. Don’t be intimidated, this class is open to beginners. You will become familiar with carving, printing, and paper handling all in the city of Tokyo. This is a great opportunity for an experience holiday in Japan. Their next 4-Day Intensive Course starts August 9:

Follow Louise Rouse on Instagram: louise.rouse.art

See my day-to-day Art Adventures on Instagram: StudioDeanna

Art Books for World Book Day – March 1st

Part of the St Helens Arts in Libraries Commision, To England they go, to the Eccleston Library for World Book Day, March 1st:

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(Update Mar 22, 2018: Congrats to St Helens for earning the First Burough of Culture!!)

Several of us from Art Byte Critique who have participated in Tokyo Art Book Fair have been invited to contribute to this year’s World Book Day. I chose to provide three of my embroidered Navigation/Migration series books:

Lori Ono - Mamebon

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Washi and Whetstones

Best place to find a whetstone aka Tokyo Art Adventures w/Mia O – Mokuhanga Artist!

Six of us, all members of Art Byte Critique, set out from our respective homes around the Tokyo Metro area and converged upon the 360+ year old, Ozu Washi paper store in the Nihonbashi area.

We each had our reasons for making this errand; Michelle wanted washi sheets for her contemporary nihonga painting idea. Lori was on a quest to find just the right texture, color, and pattern for her handmade bee-themed mamebon, bean-sized books. Patty, Louise, & Mia O were each looking for paper for their printmaking projects and I was there out of curiosity.

Ozu Washi fits the widest range of washi paper enthusiasts. They inform the tourists, yet showcase their centuries of consistently top quality paper in various forms throughout the other floors with a large room set up as a museum. Lovely displays of amazing art pieces utilizing washi, cones of paper yarns, videos, and classes all in one place!

We each walked out with beautiful sheets of washi that handled each of our widely varying needs. My purchase was a package of five tissue paper thin, buttery soft, all white sheets to create a backdrop for photographing my artwork.

After a delicious lunch of Soba noodles at Takashimaya we made our way to Morihei Knife & Whetstone Shop in the Asakusa-bashi area.

Oguro Sensei brought out his iPad to show us additional information regarding his business; comfortable using modern technology. Some of his offerings are listed on his website, yet many, many more are available in his shop.

Morihei has been around since 1933 and is dedicated to the absolute highest quality whetstones for mokuhanga carving chisels, chyoukin metal etching tools, nigiri sheers, sushi knives, and swords. The variety in each stone was astounding, the color, the grit, the size, all had a unique purpose. Oguro Sensei said many sushi chefs come to Japan to purchase the excellent knives but then need to return to buy a whetstone from him to keep those knives sharp.

Mia & Patty receiving advice and discussing their multitude of choices!

TIP for choosing a good whetstone:

Place a drop of water on the stone; a slowly sinking drop is better and the water stays around to provide lubricant for the item one is sharpening.

If the water drop sinks too quickly, it is a poor quality stone.

Both Patty and Mia needed to purchase a stone for their mokuhanga tools that day and this is what our group, Art Byte Critique, is about, supporting each other so we can each successfully move forward with our own work.

This large whetstone is used to sharpen one’s sword!

Mia O is a Selected Artist at the International Mokuhanga Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. Currently her work can be seen at the UH Manoa Art Building Main Gallery. Mia was among a handful of printmakers to be selected for acquisition awards by the Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts, Arts in Public Places!!

Mia will be showing additional work available for purchase in the Chinatown Artists Lofts First Friday Open Studios event room 203 – Ark of the Unicorns Gallery Space

 

Morihei – Knife & Whetstone Shop

111-0053 JAPAN

Taito-Ku, Tokyo

1-28-6 Asakusa-bashi

Approx 2 min walk from either the JR Asakusa-bashi Stn or the Asakusa-bashi Subway Stn