Japanese Water-based Woodcut Printmaking (Mokuhanga)

Led by Lucy May Schofield
Course Duration: 3 Days
Dates: 19th – 21st July 2021 (9.30 AM – 4.30PM each day)
Location: Bower Ashton Campus

Course fully booked

During this immersive three-day workshop, you will be introduced to the traditional Japanese art of woodblock printing. Mokuhanga is perfect for anyone interested in a non-toxic, table-top printmaking technique. Over the course of the three days, you will learn the skills to transfer an image to Japanese plywood and carve various colour separation blocks in relief, following in the tradition of Japanese Ukiyo-e printing. With no mechanical press required, only a hand held ‘baren’, you will learn the techniques to achieve various print effects, from ‘sesame printing’ to ‘bokashi’ (gradation), while registering your multi-block image through the simple but brilliant traditional ‘kento’ registration system. You will be sure to fall in love with both the process and results of this accessible, meditative, water-based printmaking method which provides endless possibilities.

You can expect to leave with a variety of samples of printing techniques and a small selection of a simple image printed in A5 on Japanese mulberry paper, with the skills and confidence to continue carving and printing at home. This course is ideally suited to those with some understanding of printmaking, however all the basics will be covered. 

Day One: We we look at some mokuhanga prints and discuss the process, with carving demonstrations and an opportunity to try the Hangitoknife on a sample block. We will then transfer a very simple image to Japanese plywood with carbon and tracing paper and the kento registration method. You are encouraged to plan a VERY SIMPLE IMAGE to carve, perhaps a series of shapes no larger than A5 size, in order to get the most from this course, as the process of carving with the hangito knife is extremely time consuming and can be difficult to control on first encountering it.

Day Two: We will continue to carve, using a set of 5 knives to clear all the non-printable areas of our multi-block design. You will learn to prepare a damp pack to house your mulberry printmaking paper. We will prepare our two types of Japanese kozo (mulberry) paper and allow it to dampen overnight. You will see a printmaking demonstration on day two in order to plan your time and print order on day three, selecting your colours and making your workspace ready to return to print the next morning. 

Day Three: The entire day will be spent experimenting with print techniques to achieve various effects from your multi-block plates. There will be print demonstrations and an opportunity to trouble shoot any issues you’re having. We will share the outcomes of the course together and store our prints ready for drying them at home. 

About: Lucy May Schofield

Lucy May Schofield studied Japanese printmaking and paper making techniques whilst living in Japan for 2 years. She regularly returns to exhibit and attend residencies, last year completing the upper advanced training programme at the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory near Mt.Fuji. Lucy has taught book arts and printmaking nationally for over 12 years and regularly runs introductory workshops as well as masterclasses. She makes books and prints, exhibiting her work internationally. Her work is held in public and private collections from the Tate to Yale Centre for British Art. She was the 2020 recipient of the Flourish Award for Excellence in Printmaking from WYPW. She is currently based in rural Northumberland.

The course price includes all materials and catering.

Courses will be held at UWE Bristol. The course is limited to a maximum of 6 participants, please sign up early to secure your place.

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