This is an example of the prints I produced for Baren Forum’s 13th Exchange, “Music”. The prints are chuban, paper about 10 1/2 inches high.
The print shown is a reduction print, printed by hand using Traditional Japanese woodblock printing techniques and materials (except, of course for the reduction part). Traditionally, each of the fifteen blocks for this print would have been carved by hand. But in order to save time and increase risk, I carved only one block and printed all the sheets, then carved it some more, reprinted each sheet, etc., etc. fifteen times!
Sometimes this method is called “Suicide Printing” — perhaps because, if you make a mistake, you wish you were dead — but more likely because each state of the block is destroyed by the subsequent carving, so there is no going back to pull additional prints.
In the image of my messy workspace near the top of the gallery, my baren is at the lower left, sitting on some oily cloth. The red rag above is for absorbing excess moisture from the water brush you can see sitting on top of my plastic water container. Hanging down at the top of the picture are two much more expensive brushes used for applying size and water, but for this kind of printing, I prefer my old $1.25 cheap-o brush. To the right of the baren is my block, already printed several times, above the block is the brush I used for printing. to the right of the block are small dishes containing the Prussian Blue pigment and rice paste and a ‘plant mister’ I use to keep my paper stack damp. The paper is out of the picture to the left on an “L” shaped extension so it is easy to reach. I print standing up.