13 October 2005

Exchange Print: First Block


Here's the lauan plywood block printed on the Masa Dosa paper. I love the grain from the wood, and I love this paper as far as it being bright white and soft to the touch. However, you can see here already on the very first print that the paper is so soft it's stretching. It looked fine until I put it on the scanner bed and it refused to lie flat under the scanner cover. (Yes, indeed, I'm scanning this wet! One of the wonders of moku hanga is that the paper soaks up the pigments immediately and they don't rub off.) This stretching will definitely be a problem as I add more ink and paste and moisture...


tom said...

Hi Annie,

Anything is possible, and you can make this paper work for you, but it is easier to start with nice thick washi that is more forgiving. I use shioji which is a cheap 100% kozo washi. The long fibres and thick paper will stand up to almost any abuse. Learning to control the moisture of the print takes some experience. Stack your prints head to tail under plastic. Shake them a little and hear how they sound, they should rattle a little. Touch them to the back of your hand and they should feel slightly cool. Watch for creamy coloured marks in your impressions and bold suji marks on the back, these indicate too much moisture. Leaving your prints overnight wrapped up and under a board will redistribute the moisture. And so on...

Annie B said...

Tom, I love your anything-is-possible attitude! When I was first learning to use the computer to draw pictures my mentor-person used to say the same thing: "you can do anything with this tool, you just have to figure out how."

I think I may be working too wet with this paper. It's cool, soft but not wet, but it doesn't "rattle." You mean that if you shake a single sheet it rattles just a little? I'll try to find that sound.

tom said...

Hi Annie,

Dry paper will rattle, damp paper won't rattle, paper just right for printing will rattle just a little.

I must admit I have only used two types of washi, so this rattle theory is not widely tested, but it works for me.

There is a lot of very valuable information in the Baren Forum Library. The Hiroshi Yoshida text is really worth reading:
Japanese Wood-block Printing, Chapter IV