Thursday, December 13, 2018

Field Trip .. Kawai - Hawaii

Visiting family in Hanapepe, Kawai:

View  from Kukuiolono golf course:19th. green from the restaurant21st. hole tee-off34Now that’s a shade tree:5Sorry not Scotland .. Kukuiolono, Kawai678Waimea town910Kukuiolono 11Kukuiolono 12Kukuiolono 13Kukuiolono 14Waimea 15Waimea 16Waimea 18Waimea 17 (3)

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Making Tea-ware and Pottery .. Yunnan China

NB ..This is a different process from that employed in Yixing, Jiangsu province.  Famous for the “Zi Sha” .. Purple Clay.  See previous post:

Pottery / Tea-ware artisans in; Jianshui, Yunnan, Chinamap11

Link to YouTube video … well worth a view: meichan1

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

WARNING: Contains trigger words: “Kyoto-White Pigment”

Not to be taken too seriously …. Smile

Viewers of David Bull’s Twitch streams will know how Dave reacts when he hears Woodblock printing in conjunction with “Kyoto and White Pigment”

In the new book RANKAFU Orchid Print Album, published by:Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Referencing various entries taken from the book we learn many of the Woodblock prints were produced in Kyoto and printed using white pigment.

NOTE: “This book is quickly proving to be an invaluable resource on many fronts… I strongly recommend this publication.”


Woodblock printing and the production of the Rankafu print set

Side bar .. page 40, we see a great set of 6 pictures of Suga-San printing at Mokuhankan.20181031_193510

Page 43, section on Materials involved in the Rankafu prints.

Pigments and inks. These were widely available in pre-war Japan and made from both synthetic and natural pigments mixed with a rice-paste binder called nori in Japanese ……….

“The accurate, vivid colours evident in the Rankafu print set to this day are testaments to thee colour stability of these inks. Of particular note is the white pigment, gofun in Japanese, made from refined and finely ground oyster shells that are mostly composed of calcite, a mineral that has perfect cleavage. …….

Pages 46-47 we read a great biographical Sketch of Saburo Shinmi, woodblock printer. (1912 to 2007) ..  “ …. one of the Rakafu printers with Unsodo Corporation in Kyoto. ….

20181031_133737 (2)


… pages 249-250, we see White Pigment being used on various woodblocks


New Book Arrived ….

Short follow up on the book I ordered from Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew:

The book arrived and exceeded my expectations.

20181031_133552 (2)20181031_133612 (2)20181031_133737 (2)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

New Book Purchase

Rankafu: Orchid (Woodblock) Print Album.


Rankafu showcases for the first time an exceptional set of orchid woodblock prints from early 20th century Japan. Considered masterworks of botanical art, the Rankafu prints are visually stunning and reproduced here in full colour, showcasing the fine details of this spectacular art form. The process of making woodblock prints at this level of accuracy and artistic expression is among the most difficult of the decorative printing arts, making this body of work even more remarkable.

The authors tell the story of Shotaro Kaga, a pioneering horticulturist whose orchid collection and breeding programme started a craze in Japan that continues to this day. Kaga and his gifted orchid gardener, Kenkichi Goto were highly skilled orchid growers and developed hundreds of spectacular orchid hybrids. Kaga’s interest in orchids was sparked by his visit to Kew in 1910 where he first saw tropical orchids in the extensive greenhouses, and visited many famous orchid nurseries such as Sander & Sons, from whom he would buy hundreds of plants over the coming decades.

In 1946 Kaga published a set of woodblock prints to document his work and share the beauty of his flowers. Rather than using commercial colour printing to represent his orchids, Kaga turned to woodblock printing as he felt it was best suited to illustrate the natural state of his plants. He employed the finest artists, carvers, printers and materials to create this stunning legacy.

This book is the most comprehensive work to date on Rankafu and is unrivalled in its breadth of information and research. It is a beautiful book that will appeal to orchid fanatics and lovers of botanical art, as well as those with an interest in 20th century Japan and the artistic process of making Japanese woodblock prints. 

With a foreword by Phillip Cribb, leading orchid expert and author of many orchid books.

Stephen Kirby is a geophysicist at the US Geological Society. He also lectures and does research at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan and the University College, London. Tropical orchids have held his attention for nearly 20 years, both as an amateur grower and a research associate investigating orchid biogeography at the Lankester Botanical Garden in Costa Rica.

Toshikazu Doi is a retired executive in the Pharmaceutical Division of the Kirin Beer Company. For 20 years he has been an active collector and researcher of Japanese woodblock prints of the late Meiji and Taisho eras (1870s - 1926) and especially the Shin Hanga era (~1915-1960). He is a member of the Mokuhankan woodblock print shop team whose mission is to help sustain the art and practice of woodblock printing.

Toru Otsuka is a retired researcher, writer and interviewer who worked for NHK Broadcasting Company in Tokyo and Osaka. He has for four decades collected photographs, documents, and other information relating to the Rankafu woodblock print story, amassing probably the largest privately-held collection in Japan. 

Purchased from Kew Gardens, London UK.keworder2

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Book Review: … Yoshida Hiroshi

The Complete Woodblock Prints Of: Yoshida Hiroshi.

Book logistics Info:

  • JP Oversized: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Art Media Resources Ltd; Bilingual edition (July 1, 1996)
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • ISBN-10: 4872421213
  • ISBN-13: 978-4872421217
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds


Purchased in May 2018, Amazon $87.00

Biographies, reminiscences and an overview history greets the reader (30 pages).

As you may surmise a plethora of colour plates dominate the book.

Images abound on various Internet sites, I find there is no substitute for having an honest to goodness book to hold and browse. example below:bookwbpyh1bookinside1bookinside2

Monday, October 08, 2018

live stream

A Great Twitch Live Stream, just reached a new high.

David Bull:

David live streams a meeting with: Cécile Brun & Olivier Pichard, a very talented pair of artists from France.

You-Tube Link:

They interpret their adventures real and surrealistic to share with others in their new book.

bja1Jeannie asking lots of questions .. very interested in the Yokai20181009_070558bja2

One example of their work:japbath2

Twitch Home page image: dbtlshp1

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Video Update to an Old Entry

A recent upload to You-Tube revisits the original Orwellian dissertation on making: “A nice cup of tea.” (January 1946)

Today I Found Out  Published on Oct 6, 2018


On June 24th 2007 I posted this:

Eric Arthur Blair better known by the Pseudonym:
George Orwell.

"A Nice Cup of Tea" By George Orwell published in the; Evening Standard, 12 January 1946.

If you look up 'tea' in the first cookery book that comes to hand you will probably find that it is unmentioned; or at most you will find a few lines of sketchy instructions which give no ruling on several of the most important points.
This is curious, not only because tea is one of the main stays of civilization in this country, as well as in Eire, Australia and New Zealand, but because the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes.
When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than eleven outstanding points. On perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agreement, but at least four others are acutely controversial. Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden:

First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea. China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays — it is economical, and one can drink it without milk — but there is not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase 'a nice cup of tea' invariably means Indian tea.

Secondly, tea should be made in small quantities — that is, in a teapot. Tea out of an urn is always tasteless, while army tea, made in a cauldron, tastes of grease and whitewash. The teapot should be made of china or earthenware. Silver or Britanniaware teapots produce inferior tea and enamel pots are worse; though curiously enough a pewter teapot (a rarity nowadays) is not so bad.

Thirdly, the pot should be warmed beforehand. This is better done by placing it on the hob than by the usual method of swilling it out with hot water.

Fourthly, the tea should be strong. For a pot holding a quart, if you are going to fill it nearly to the brim, six heaped teaspoons would be about right. In a time of rationing, this is not an idea that can be realized on every day of the week, but I maintain that one strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes — a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.

Fifthly, the tea should be put straight into the pot. No strainers, muslin bags or other devices to imprison the tea. In some countries teapots are fitted with little dangling baskets under the spout to catch the stray leaves, which are supposed to be harmful. Actually one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect, and if the tea is not loose in the pot it never infuses properly.

Sixthly, one should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours. Some people add that one should only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference.

Seventhly, after making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterwards allowing the leaves to settle.

Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one's tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.

Ninthly, one should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste.

Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.

Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tealover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt.

Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.

Some people would answer that they don't like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.

These are not the only controversial points to arise in connexion with tea drinking, but they are sufficient to show how subtilized the whole business has become.

There is also the mysterious social etiquette surrounding the teapot (why is it considered vulgar to drink out of your saucer, for instance?) and much might be written about the subsidiary uses of tealeaves, such as telling fortunes, predicting the arrival of visitors, feeding rabbits, healing burns and sweeping the carpet.

It is worth paying attention to such details as warming the pot and using water that is really boiling, so as to make quite sure of wringing out of one's ration the twenty good, strong cups of that two ounces, properly handled, ought to represent.