07 September 2017

Make It Work

Even if you do a lot of proofing beforehand, printing mokuhanga style is full of adventure because there are so many variables. The final result depends on the composition of the wood, how much water you use, how much pigment, how much rice paste, how you swirl the brush around on the block, how hard or softly you push with the baren, the type of paper, how damp or dry the paper is… you get the idea.

Today I printed a couple more blocks, two passes on each block. I'm slowly building a circular bokashi (fade or blend) so that in the final print the flame will seem to glow. Any bokashi is difficult to do consistently and a circular one is wicked. Nevertheless I persisted.

Two passes of a pale orange using Block #2

Block #2 was pretty straightforward to print, but block #3 got interesting. About three pieces of paper into the edition I noticed that I was consistently getting "baren suji" — marks in the print made by the baren. I got panicky, which is usually my first reaction to making what I perceive to be a mistake, but then I took a breath and walked away. When I returned I knew just what to do. USE the baren suji! So I intentionally made baren marks moving around the bokashi like rays of light.

Baren suji around the glow.

This may not even show up in the final print after more layers are added, but I needed to treat it as if it would be visible, just in case.

These prints are taking on a lot of moisture with all the water for the bokashi glow, so I'm letting the paper dry out now. I'll re-wet it tonight for tomorrow's printing session.

You can see that the bokashi glow is a little bit different on each print. That's because I'm not a machine. The more layers I print the more varied the prints will become. That's just the way it is.


Leslie Moore said...

Great to see your work in progress again. I don't see any paw prints on your paper yet!

Annie B said...

Ha! Everyone, without exception, has to wipe their feet before entering the studio.

Coreopsis said...

These are beautiful!