02 December 2008
Shaking Up the Process
When in doubt, do it again. I re-carved the Mayflower so that it faces left (west). It would have bothered me the other way, no matter how I rationalized it.
I also carved a view of the ship from straight ahead. (This is a first proof, and I see that some cleaning up is needed):
In the traditional Japanese method of printmaking that I use, a block is carved for each color. Lately I've been feeling frustrated by the fact that I'm carving very large, very labor-intensive blocks and then using them just once. This plus the amount of pre-planning involved often makes me feel that the process outlasts my internal creative current. By the time I finish a print, I've often mentally and emotionally moved on to another stream. What I want to do is to find a way to make prints that are still moku hanga but are more spontaneous to create.
My thought for this series is to carve up little blocks that I can use and combine in a number of ways to build larger prints. Neither of these Mayflower blocks has a kento and both are on small pieces of wood, just large enough to fit the images. The next step I'll be taking is to set up a large block with kento marks that will fit my paper (I'm testing a paper called Nishinouchi from McClain's). Then I'll just start printing a background for my Mayflowers to sail on using some of the techniques I've already experimented with -- stencils, printing with my hands, wiping -- and see what evolves. Sort of like moku hanga monoprinting, I suppose. We'll see what happens.