Tag Archives: Japanese barens

Four Females And A Film Festival

5 Mar

cinema co 1

I cut this MDF woodblock a couple of months ago and got round to printing it today, using Cranfield Caligo Safe Wash relief ink in black onto Japanese Hosho paper, using a Japanese bamboo baren instead of a press. It’s my interpretation of the logo of local independent picture house Cinema & Co.

It’s a great place that supports local culture in many ways including giving artists free space to show our work. They don’t charge commission, all they ask is for artists to make a piece of work relating to the cinema. So here’s mine.


There’s a fantastic evening coming up on March 12th to celebrate International Womens’ Day. From 5.30 to 7.30 there’s the launch of an exhibition by four local artists (above) – Sally Davies, Esther Ley, Patti McKenna-Jones and me (FREE with home-made cake).


And that’s followed by the Feminista Film Festival from 7.30 to 9.30 (info and tickets here). This series of shorts tells the most inspiring stories about women and girls around the world, from America, Syria, Greenland and more. Here’s the trailer….




An International Bunch

1 Apr


A Temporary Print Workstation. This is how I print small blocks at home. I use the top of my plans chest but you can use any surface – desk, table, kitchen work surface… Cover the area with old newspaper (or similar) stuck down with masking tape.

Left to right:

  1. Registration sheet (I blogged about this 2 days ago)
  2. Printing area – where you actually rub the paper onto the inked block – I use Japanese barens
  3. Gluing area – for preparing the chine collé (I use Pritt stick – always use really good glue). Click here to find out more about chine collé.
  4. The inking area – see yesterdays blog for more on this.
  5. At the back I’ve put the stack of pre-cut printmaking paper and the prepared chine collé papers.
  6. I use Cranfield Caligo Safewash relief ink (made in Wales); Hosho Japanese paper for the print; and for the chine collé I use Indian hand-made recycled sari paper. I’ve used vinyl for the block, inked with an excellent roller from Intaglio Printmaker in London. And chine collé is a French term translated as China collage. An international bunch.


Japanese Barens [artgeeky stuff]

23 Oct

Ink drawing: A demonstration of Japanese woodblock printing.

When I visited the International Print Fair in New York City a couple of years ago, I went to a demonstration of Japanese woodblock printing by the artist Takiyi Hamanake [I hope I spelled that right]. It’s a different way of printing; instead of rollering oil-based ink onto the cut block, you brush glue onto your woodcut and brush water-based pigment over that, then lay a very fine paper on top and rub it very hard with a Japanese baren.  The result is delicate, very different to printing with the old, heavy-duty Victorian Columbian press at Swansea Print Workshop. Takiyi used a modern ball-bearing baren, a type I had never seen before. I have used a traditional bamboo baren with varying results but the ball-bearing one was amazingly quick and easy to use. I’m trying to track one down but I haven’t found a British supplier – yet!

This drawing is in Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen in my little Tate Gallery postcard sketchbook. I filled it during my New York visit as a present for my husband. It was scribbled very quickly and I’m afraid it’s not a very flattering portrait of the artist!

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