05 August 2007

Moku Hanga Retreat


The friends who offered us their home for the past two weeks returned from Europe tonight, so Lynn and I are moving on to a new house-sitting gig, this time staying for two weeks at the home of some friends who are vacationing on Cape Cod. I just finished a couple of big illustration projects, so I plan to spend a lot of my time this week in the back yard by this pool. I got my moku hanga supplies out of storage a couple of days ago and bought a couple of cheap birch plywood blocks at a craft store, so I'm ready for some woodblock!


Tom Kristensen said...

Hi Annie,

I am spending a lot of time in Nantucket at least in a virtual way, working on prints for vacationers.

My latest tip: DIY plywood. I cant buy the FANTASTIC cherry ply as supplied by Maria for the cairn project so I make my own. I use American poplar wood external ply for the core and I glue down cherry veneer which comes from Ebay. It all costs a fraction of the price of cherry plank and carves in a jiffy. no hand strain with the soft poplar.

m.Lee said...

Pool! When can I come over? Me swimming at this point would be a pretty sad sight but just sitting in it would be so nice.

Beth Zentzis said...


Been thinking about how lovely it must be to sit next to a pool and carve, quiet all around. Ahhh. I've also been thinking about Cape Cod. And those two together, not that I've ever been to Cape Cod, got me thinking about Joel Meyerowitz, a photographer that you've probably heard of. I own a poster of one of his photos of Cape Cod back from the 80's I believe, called "Cape Light". When I logged onto his site though, he had some phenomenal photographs of the WTC catastrophe.

I sure appreciate that wild tip from Tom K. about making your own plywood. Tom, if you read this, what are you using for glue?

Enjoy your relaxation time, Annie. I look forward to seeing what you decide to share.

Tom Kristensen said...

The glue I use is called Aquadhere Durabond. It is a one-pack glue, looks like honey and it foams up as it cures. It sets very tough and waterproof but it is easy to carve through. When making the plywood you need a broad stainless filling blade to spread the glue evenly, right to the edges, not too dry, not too wet. Put paper between the blocks to catch any drips. Use clamps and some outer boards to get the veneer dead flat.

But if you live in America you can buy the FANTASTIC plywood readymade from Rockler and quite cheap if you don't need to paty for OS shipping.

The key thing is the combination of poplar and cherry.

Annie B said...

Tom, I've missed you :) Great tip about the cherry plywood available at Rockler. I looked it up and discovered that there's even a Rockler store I can visit in Cambridge MA. I look forward to seeing your Nantucket prints.

Beth, I didn't know of Joel Meyerowitz before. Cape Cod is wonderful, if you ever get the opportunity to visit there.

m.lee, your due date must be very soon now. Stay cool!

janey said...

I read about your real estate travails. Hope the Victorian House is still happening. It's a beautiful place.

Annie B said...

Hi Janey,

Yes, the deal on the condo in the old victorian is coming along nicely. Looks like we may be able to move in in just a couple of weeks! Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

Glad I came across this tip from Tom Kristensen, although it's nearly three years since the original post.

My question, if anyone can help, is what is the thickness of the cheery veneer?

Also, where in Australia can one buy American exterior ply?

Many thanks for a very informative and inspiring website.