Went down the Japanese Woodblock printing "rabbit hole"


#1

So a couple of days ago I decided to do some research on Japanese woodblock printing to see how to adapt it to the Glowforge and here are a few cool videos I found: :japanese_castle: :jp:

Enjoy!! :star_struck:


#2

Wow, those are really amazing.


#3

I’ve always liked woodblock prints, and I want to eventually try linoleum cuts as well. This is great inspirational stuff.

I’m somewhat curious as to why he wipes his face with the smoothing pads, though… apparently to just quickly remove some debris lodged underneath it?


#4

I already bought some linoleum with my Inventables credit. :grin:
But I do want to use wood for these kinds of prints to get the woodgrain texture. The gradients the guy does are awesome.

About rubbing the pad on his face, I don’t know what that does. Maybe it’s to dry it, You’re supposed to keep the paper a little damp. Maybe the skin oil helps the process. Mayne he has a nervous tick…


#5

I share that curiosity. I like your guess. Maybe it’s an easy way to test that it’s still in proper shape. Maybe he does it because the master he learned from did it, but now nobody knows why.


#6

About rubbing the pad on his face, I don’t know what that does. Maybe it’s to dry it, You’re supposed to keep the paper a little damp. Maybe the skin oil helps the process. Mayne he has a nervous tick…

Having studied a number of Japanese “things” over the years, I’ve found that when it comes to Japanese craftsmanship there is NOTHING left to chance and every single thing has a purpose (usually from, like, 400 years of trial and error.) :laughing:


#7

He is adding tiny amounts of oil to it. Some block printers rub it on the back of their head. Others use drops of oil and a cloth. I think its probably like licking a paintbrush to point the tip (don’t do that, btw) - just a habit some people prefer, even if there are other ways to do it.

What’s blowing my mind is the registration. When I took printmaking, registering woodblocks (and linoleum) was like my kryptonite. And we used jigs. This is just… Next level bananas.


#8

Thanks for the video links. I have a few woodblock prints and it is amazing to see the process. Would be fun to try though I think this one is a little low on my list based for now


#9

I LOVE these videos! So satisfying to watch and I have a far deeper appreciation of the time and skill that is required to produce Japanese woodblock prints.

Thank you for sharing!


#10

Those gradient techniques are just amazing!!


#11

My pleasure!!

I actually just dug myself a deeper hole, I just bought this book and I’m starting to read it:
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/0770434819/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I2X7H1B7XH72I2&colid=T6Q9950HURCM


#12

The Ten Bamboo Studio books are amazing - I have a reproduction that has a lot of the images but it does not go into the techniques. This video is another book that they have an original but talk about reproductions that are available.


#13

Uh oh, now I’m going to have to get that!