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: https://www.twitch.tv/japaneseprintmaking

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

You-Tube Link:  https://www.youtube.com/user/ateliersento/featured

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.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Self Portrait

Our Granddaughter drew a self portrait just before setting out for school, she is 5½. School uniform: Red or White shirt with Blue shorts Smile20180919_151039

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018

Woodblock trial … #3

Third block all ready to start image carving. Same image to maintain a level of consistency.b3s1Material used: reclaimed scientific instrument box made from Beach and Birch plywood.   The surface layer of ply was good but I was not impressed with internal layers and some voids.  I’ve carved about 60% of the line work, the choice of wood/block is not aesthetically pleasing. I have more uses for plywood than you shake a stick at, but, I don't plan on using it for future blocks.  I’ll finish the carving and print a few samples.

Block #3, I finished the carving, except deepening some of the open areas. 20180917_125112Blocks 1, 2 & 320180917_125204

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Woodblock #2 .. carving proceeds. New UPDATE

20180906_10462820180906_104628UPDATE:  finished carving the main bock face .. Poplar was easy to carve, but proved to be too soft when working with pigments/water etc. The surface of the Poplar would get fuzzy very easily.  Unable to support long term use.  Back to sourcing “harder/tighter” grain samples …..  Prints are just testing .. warming up the block etc.20180911_14252920180907_142905

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Part Deux .. Woodblock #2

Set up ready to cut registration marks and glue down image to carve.block2start

As a step in my quest to find an available type and source of wood for Japanese style woodblocks.  The elusive Japanese Mountain Cherry is like hens teeth. (If only it grew on trees)   I had some Mahogany in my wood stash, it proved to be unsuitable for what I need. (see previous posts)

Poplar, technically a Hradwood,  is extremely common inexpensive and available for me .. so that's on deck to try.  Cross Section End Grain.block2egImage mounted ready to carve.block2im

Link to tech info:  https://www.wood-database.com/poplar/

Common Name(s): Poplar, Tulip Poplar, Yellow Poplar

Scientific Name: Liriodendron tulipifera

Distribution: Eastern United States

Tree Size: 130-160 ft (40-50 m) tall, 6-8 ft (1.8-2.5 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 29 lbs/ft3 (455 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .40, .46

Janka Hardness: 540 lbf (2,400 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 10,100 lbf/in2 (69.7 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,580,000 lbf/in2 (10.90 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 5,540 lbf/in2 (38.2 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.6%, Tangential: 8.2%, Volumetric: 12.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.8

Pigment Tray, part B

Using a 45 degree mini sled makes chamfering end grain a doddle. I’ll relieve the edge grain sides at 30 degrees by tilting the saw blade.20180901_092549I have a large arsenal of tools form past years .. 1x2x3 blocks various pairs of parallels, makes life simple.20180901_092055Other layout tools to locate and mark centers for large hole drilling (using hole saw) .. note: sample of hole size.20180901_092858Different layout for tray #2 .. not improved just different.cuplo2Just glue on bottom runners .. Shellac to finish,  then “Robert is your father’s brother.”cupinh2

Time for part Deux .. Woodblock & Pigment Tray

This Test block #2 .. in Glue-Up .. once ready to carve I’ll post an Update.20180901_08062820180901_080643For various reasons I need to make a second pigment tray .. the first is off to a “better home”. So with another set of six cups, slightly larger diameter, I’ll make this while the Block Glue Up dries.20180901_084740

Friday, August 31, 2018

Pigment Bowls and Tray … Complete

All done ready for use .. makes moving “stuff” around easier.cupemp1For this particular printing sequence .. I do not require RED pigment .. a single Blue/Green/Aquamarine custom colour and Black for the hair detail.cupwp1

Information for a friend

New motor fitted to an old table saw:20180831_090919motortag1

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Printing Pigment Bowls and Custom Try

Figuratively speaking I have multiple hundreds of; Tea Cups, accumulated over many years in the Far-East. Given this, it was easy to divert six suitable cups to become; Pigment Bowls.cups6

I don’t need large bowls, I dabble in making woodblocks prints, not setting up a business. Why six? .. Easy:  five are insufficient and seven an excess.

1) Black

2) Red

3) Blue

4) Yellow

5) White .. cheating a little Smile

6) Custom Colour Mix

This custom tray, made from recycled mahogany, a little over indulgence .. but its a hobby!


A colour matching stain applied and setout to dry, before an Oil and Wax finish is applied.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Sad horse needs to be mended


New Woodblock … 3rd. / final update

I’ve finished up testing/trialing a Mahogany wood block .. with various Water based acrylics and inks, these on a variety of papers.

Conclusions .. mahogany .. the species I used .. is not suitable for woodblocks / fine carving details.

I’ve selected an Ink / Paper combination to move forward with .. see pictures below.

Also I’ll carve a new block using “different” wood, time will tell if it’s “better” Smile

A pair of sub-standard prints … Colour is not important at this stage !!!.. this is a paper designed for Acrylics/ Oil paints .. not so good for transfer printing … 20180828_100451

Various papers I use on a regular basis plus the Printmaking paper (new to me)paper4The Printmaking paper works for me .. holds the ink .. a few details to work out .. but that will be on block #220180828_100411Paper and Ink combo .. Ink detail below.20180828_100442ink1

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

New Woodblock … update number TWO….

Carving phase one complete … the pseudo-Key Block.  Block prep with colours .. Aquamarine .. main block .. Black for hair


The second side of the block also completed.


Test printing to follow, a little deeper colour towards the blue spectrum .. I’ll set up for that tomorrow. the hair colour is fine

Given the various issues with using mahogany as a carving material I’ll use Acrylic artist paint to test the block .. and bring this test/exercise to a conclusion.