Mokuhanga in Fujikawaguchiko- First Edition

by | Apr 22, 2023 | All

During our first week at MI-Lab, it was all about boot camp. 12-hour work days, lots of carving, inking, paste application.

We didn’t have a lot of time to think about design- basically, we were asked to create a simple idea that could quickly be used to explore the technical aspects of Mokuhanga.

Whenever I’m presented with a rapidfire exercise like this, I revert to fish. Fish swim across a thosand of my pots…  so why not paper?

In Mokuhanga (as with most printmaking) you have to think about the interaction between different inks- color combinations, gradients, textures. This was the initial rough design….

A bit rough and ready, to be honest. We were able to look at some examples of historical prints (and the multiple blocks that spawned them). During the Ukiyo-e (浮世絵) period, a print would be the collective creation of carvers, designers, inkmakers, etc.

The simplicity of the design nonwithstanding, I was not happy with the first printed iteration of the design. The colors were flat- it honestly looked like a construction paper assemblege from a 3rd grade art fair.

The second run (and edition of ten) was a bit better. Adding a gradient effect on some of the elements and using a more harmonious color scheme were both important.

We’re now tasked with developing at least two designs that are more ambitious. This process will run out for the rest of the residency.

In the meantime, there’s been plenty of scope for exploring beautiful Fujikawaguchi town… including a spectacular tempura blow-out at a local restaurant last night.

David Roon

David Roon

An artist working at the interface of visual art and Conservation Biology, and a professor at the University of Idaho (Natural Resources and Society).

Mixed media and printmaking, with a strong grounding in ceramics. Exploring the interface between humans and the global biosphere (particularly coastal and marine ecosystems). Installation, sculpture, and ginormous functional pots.

All Posts by Month


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *