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Vermont Arts Council Award

Mokuhanga Japanese Woodblock Prints

The Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts funded my printmaking project through the Artist Development Grant 2021-22. During this time, I focused on exploring non-toxic printmaking techniques at the Two Rivers Printmaking Studio in White River Junction, VT. Initially, I started with traditional woodblock printing by carving birch and pine wood panels. Images were printed with an etching press on Japanese papers using Akua (soy based) inks.

My secondary focus was on Mokuhanga, which is a traditional Japanese water-based woodblock printmaking process. It involves using a handheld bamboo barren to print the woodblock. I carved the images onto Shina wood using Japanese carving tools, and created a Japanese kento registration for each image. Nori (rice paste), gauche, and sumi ink were applied using a Surikomi bake to the carved wood images and printed on Japanese papers, using a hand- held bamboo baren. The specialty techniques used in the prints included Beta-zuri, Bokashi, and Goma-zuri.

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