|Baren-suji is the
newsletter of [Baren], The International Forum for Woodblock Printmaking.
The official internet site of [Baren] is http://barenforum.org
Baren-suji are the marks left by the baren when printing. Similarly, this newsletter assumes the role of recording the marks left by the woodblock printmakers that constitute [Baren].
Comments and contributions are welcomed. Please contact:
Baren and The Encyclopedia of Woodblock Printmaking were created by David Bull in 1997 to promote the art of and share information about woodblock printmaking.
Baren activities include an international discussion forum, a network of woodblock printmakers, workshops and get-togethers, and the very successful Exchange and Exhibition Programs.
To join [Barenforum], simply point your browser to:
|ISSUE 7: October 2001
NOTE! To return to thisTable of Contents from anywhere in the Newsletter, just click on the barens scattered about.
Crossing Boundaries Print Symposium
Making forms for Plaster of Paris blocks.
A Century of American Color Woodcuts
Speedball Technical data
|Welcome to the Fall issue of Baren-Suji,
our newsletter. No words could accurately describe the world-wide sentiments that followed
the September 11 tragedy at New York's World Trade Center. As artists often do during difficult times, many have rallied to their studios to create
works that reflect the sentiments of the moment.
Our very own John Center (Chicago) has put out the word for a print folio to benefit the FDNY (Fire Department of New York). Dean Clark of Graphic Chemical & Ink Co. has graciously offered a donation of paper for this project. John's print (left) was on display and for sale at the recent Art Materials Trade Show in Southern California with all proceeds going to the WTC relief fund. For more details on how you can join this effort and other WTC related projects look for the flag icons below.
As we get closer to celebrating Baren's fourth year online, there is no better advice offered than our old refrain:
"We must, indeed, all hang together,
-Printmaker Benjamin Franklin
A special thank YOU! to the contributors this issue:
As always, an extra thank you to our friendly Baren graphic designer, John Amoss, for the Baren-suji masthead design and the many logos that keep popping up in the Barenforum web site and also to our webmaster David Bull for all the behind the scenes work.
Julio Rodriguez, Editor of Baren-Suji
Please direct letters to the editor and comments to: Editor
Remember that your contributions will continue to make this newsletter interesting and palatable for all. To contribute a feature article or an item of interest, please contact: Contributions
Remember! General information and links to all exchanges can always be found here: http://barenforum.org/exchange/index.html
And in case you missed them, the prints in the Exchange Gallery can delight you here: http://barenforum.org/exchange/exchanges.html
Untitled, Exchange #10
Exchange #11 is almost completed and prints are due very soon now. Coordinating the effort is Michelle Morrell all the way from Juneau, Alaska. This is an "oban" size, themed ("FLORA") exchange.
Exchange #12 is well on its way and prints are due February 1st, 2001. Coordinating the effort is Mike Lyon in Kansas. This is a "hoso-ban" size non-themed exchange.
Signup for Exchange #13 will begin on January 1st, 2002. This will be a themed exchange with paper size to be determined later. Stay tuned to the sign-up page where more information will appear as it becomes available.
LARGE PRINT EXCHANGE. There is a special exchange in the works which is under the coordination of Rudolf Stalder. Format is open, size 22" X 32", 25 prints required. Prints are due February 28, 2002. More information can be found on Rudolph's site: Large-Print Exchange. Signup is closed.
The third annual New Year Card Exchange is underway. Following the sequence of the Chinese calendar, this year's animal is the horse. For details on the exchange head over to Pete White's webpage and follow the signup instructions. Deadline for signup is December 21st, 2001.
** Make sure you check the signup list often to ensure late entrants receive your print!
A great way to keep up with all the exchanges is to bookmark the Exchange sign-up pages in your Favorites or Bookmarks (Internet Explorer and Netscape respectively).
PRINT EXCHANGE CENTRAL. Maria Arango has started an information page about exchanges going on in the printmaking world. If you know of a group that has a print exchange going on and would like them listed for an online reference, just send her an e-mail. Corrections and updates should also be e-mailed to Maria directly at Print Exchange Central.
For those wanting to work at their own pace and perhaps do smaller editions, The Baren International Swap Shop is awaiting your prints. James Mundie presides over the Swapshop and is looking forward to adding your prints to those already received. The Swapshop Gallery can be seen at: http://barenforum.org/swapshop/intro.html
This program is also open to non-members. We hope that you will also encourage non-members to participate so that we can promote the traditional exchange of prints among printmakers throughout the world.
TEXT MESSAGES PRINTS Project. A special project initiated by Gregory Robison, this is a collaboration project, NOT an exchange. Prints illustrating the text messages from the Gospels in the New Testament will be exhibited in Edinburgh, Scotland in June, 2002. Plans for other world-wide exhibits and a project CD are in the works. Prints must be in by April 1st, 2002. Signup is still open.
For subscribing to that discussion group and to find more details, head over to http://www.topica.com/lists/gospelprints
FDNY BENEFIT. Baren member John Center in Chicago is organizing a commemorative portfolio of works (at least 30 prints) that will be ready for sale and exhibition in February. Plans are in the works for exhibiting the folios in New York, Tampa, Chicago and other locations. It is the hope of the group that not only individual prints be available for sale, but that also complete folio's will be collated and made available for benefit sale.
Dean Clark from Graphic Chemical has graciously offered to donate paper for this benefit project (50 sheets cut ot 10" by 15"). Please contact Dean for your specific needs. You can reach Dean at (800) 465 7382 or e-mail him at
This is the first time in Baren's four-year history that the group has produced work for sale; all previous portfolios have been exchanges between artists world wide. All monies raised from the prints will go to the New York Firefighters' Relief Fund. No Baren member will take any money and all the prints will be donated. Baren's archives are housed at the Spencer Museum of Art near Kansas City under the care of Dr. Steven Goddard at the University of Kansas.
Prints to be mailed to:
PO Box 59288
Chicago, Il, 60659-0288
The American Print Alliance and its member organizations are organizing a very special Memorial Portfolio in honor of the lives lost in the tragic events of September 11. To celebrate those lives with esteem and reverence, Alliance director Dr. Carol Pulin is asking all members of our councils as well as subscribers to the journal, Contemporary Impressions, to create an original work of art on or of paper (print, drawing, watercolor, etc., on an 8" x10" vertical sheet). The exhibition of these 6,000+ artworks will honor the individuality of each victim and convey sympathies to surviving families and friends.
Complete information and entry procedures can be found here. Entry is free, due February 15.
Editors Note:The following information regarding this project has been provided by Barbara Mason:
"The Baren has been invited to join the American Print Alliance, which is an organization of non-profit organizations. We are unique in our membership, being world wide and an internet organization. They are planning a memorial print exhibition and we are invited to join. We will send all the prints to a central Baren person for preparation for hanging and scanning and then on to the Alliance for exhibition. Please go to the web site and mention you are a Baren Forum member to gain access to the entire site".
Also related to the project:
...there are many "benefit projects" in the works, and each has a different concept and parameters. The Baren has been officially accepted as a Council Member of the American Print Alliance, so everyone belonging to Baren is eligible to participate in the Print Alliance project, and we hope you will. Unfortunately, the same print will not work for both, but - you only have to send one piece to the Alliance project - it can be a monotype, watercolor, drawing, pastel - any work on paper. Of course, it would be nice if it were a print - but, the main thing is that it is 8 x 10 and vertical. The idea is to commemorate a life lost in the WTC tragedy, so it is a portrait in the broadest sense. See www.printalliance.org for details of the project.
You might also consider doing one "state print" for the Alliance project and then continue with the Barener's project - Just an idea.."
Secretary, American Print Alliance
NEW YORK ARTISTS RESPOND TO WORLD TRADE CENTER DISASTER Artists Call on Other Artists to Join in a “Unity Canvas” for the Nation NEW YORK, New York (October 10, 2001) -- A group of leading artists from New York and the tristate area are organizing a wide-ranging art project to respond to the World Trade Center Disaster. The New York Artists’ Circle, a group of over 200 artists mostly based in Manhattan, are calling on other artists and art lovers to submit their artwork to be joined together in a huge “Unity Canvas” that will be displayed in New York and ultimately other parts of the country. Artists and art lovers may feel sometimes that they can not do much in the face of the unspeakable horror of the disaster at the World Trade Center and the times to come. But we need only think of works like ‘Guernica’ and ‘In Flanders Fields’ to know that art fills a void that everyday words sometimes cannot. In this spirit we ask you to join us in a new project. We are seeking squares of canvas to put together in a large-scale artwork about the tragic and heroic events at the World Trade Center. This piece will commemorate our fallen, honor our heroes, express our sadness and anger, cheer our spirit, show our strength and make tangible what we feel. The individual works may be painted, silkscreened, written, embroidered, or submitted in any other media of the artist’s choice, so long as they are on unstretched canvas or other heavy material and measure 12” square exactly. The pieces should be sent to: The Unity Canvas 451 Greenwich Street, 3d floor New York, NY 10013 The initial deadline for submissions is December 1, 2001. In the weeks, months and years to come, our country will be tested in ways none of us have seen in our lifetimes. In our own small way, we hope the Unity Canvas can help. For additional information, call 212/274-0108 or look at the Unity Canvas website at www.unitycanvas.com.
Print portfolio exchanges exhibited in Montreal. Claude Aimˇe Villeneuve is having an exhibit of exchange prints at the gallery of the Quebec Printmaking Council located in Montreal, Quebec Canada. The exhibit starts on November 15 and is continuing until January 15, 2002. The vernissage is on November 23, 2001.
The portfolios on display are:
The Mint Exchange (Brad Schwartz' Printmakers Forum)
What is a Print (Print Australia)
Illustration Exchange (Print Australia)
Endangered Species I (the [Baren] Forum)
Endangered Species II Dan Dew's Salon des refusˇs (the [Baren] Forum)
Year of the Snake Exchange - (the [Baren] Forum)
The prints are not framed but have been grouped by exchange and are hanging with mini "bull dog" clips and small nails. If any visitor is interested in buying individual prints, Claude can give them the artist's email and the two parties can arrange the transaction among themselves.
For more details or questions, participants can email Claude Aimˇe Villeneuve, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brazil Body and Soul at the Guggenheim Museum until January 27th . Spendid works by brazilian artists. Check out works by Artur Bispo do Rosario, a visionary artist who created splendidly enigmatic cloaks, sashes, and other textile pieces, had no artistic training and developed his work while a patient at the Juliano Moreira Colony for the mentally ill in Rio de Janeiro. (Contributed by: Horacio Soares Neto, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
The Floating World of Ukiyo-e, Washington, D. C., at the Library of Congress. A splendid exhibit with some extraordinary prints from their collections. A slight step is taken into the 20th century with works by Hiratsuka Un'ichi, Munakata, Bertha Lum and others. The Library put out a thick catalog (about $50), but the 20 page pamphlet that's free is one of the finest small presentations seen. If you're in that area the show is well worth a visit. It runs until sometime in January 2002. (Contributed by: Ray Hudson, Vermont)
THE ART AND HISTORY OF PAPERMAKING AT MAROONDAH ART GALLERY. Maroondah Art Gallery will display two exhibitions involving the art and history of papermaking, 'Paperbound' and 'The Mould and Deckle Mill', from November 1 ~ 25, 2001. Paperbound, in Gallery 1, will exhibit selected works from around Australia from members of the Papermakers Victoria.
The Mould and Deckle Papermill, in Gallery 2, will hold an historical display of the first Papermill in Australia to use selected waste paper. It was established and operated by two Dutch ˇmigrˇs, Kayes and Sonja Van Bodegraven, who met while defying Nazi occupied Holland, and who came to Australia in the 1950s.
The exhibition appears at Maroondah Federation Estate, 32 Greenwood Avenue, Ringwood, Australia. The Gallery's opening hours are Tuesdays to Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturdays 12pm to 5pm. For further information telephone 9298 4538. (Contributed by: Josephine Severn, Australia)
Hard Pressed: 600 Years of Prints and Process, Curators: David Platzker and Elizabeth Wyckoff, November 2, 2000 - January, 2001 at the AXA Gallery, New York City (tour through 2002).
New Prints 2001/Autumn October 30 - February 2002 at the International Print Center New York, 526 West 26th Street, Suite 824, New York, NY. Reception Tuesday, Oct. 30, 5-8 pm. "IPCNY has opened the only non-commercial gallery displaying, on an ongoing and rotating basis, newly editioned prints from artists, independent printmakers, university and regional presses, publishers large and small, commercial and non-profit, domestic and foreign. Exhibit in Room 824, hours: Tuesday - Saturday 12-6 p.m. New Prints 2001/Autumn is the fourth in a series of juried exhibitions of current prints by both known and unknown artists at all stages of their careers presented by IPCNY". (Contributed by: April Vollmer, New York)
Prints by Sculptors. At the Block Museum on the beautiful campus of Northwestern University, Evanston . On display an extraordinary current collection through Dec.9 of "Prints by Sculptors".
Also in Chicago, Van Gogh/Gauguin "Studio of the South" at the Chicago Art Institute through January 13, 2002 and "The Yellow House" through Feb. 10. (Contributed by: Sharon Linder, Illinois)
Baren member Carol Lyons is organizing a New York Firemen's Benefit Exhibit. Feb 12 for 2 weeks at the Irvington Library Display Room (Irvington, New York). The library is located at 12 South Astor Street, Irvington, New York 10533, (914) 591-7840.
Prints donated by Baren members for the FDNY folio are due in January and are to be sent directly to John Center in Chicago. For more details and signup see above or email Carol directly.
If you are missing out on the exchanges and exhibitions, be sure to tune into the Baren forum and take a gander through the Encyclopedia. Opportunities abound and await!
Baren member Daniel Dew and The Florida Printmakers Society and Artists Unlimited presented their very first, International, "theme" juried exhibition. The exhibit ran from August 3 thru September 28, 2001. Each year the group presents to the printmaking world an opportunity to create a print or series of prints based on a theme. This years theme was: Endangered Species. The competition was open to all the printmakers of the world who have created a work in the past three years along the parameters of this theme. Many prints from Baren's "Endangered Species" Exchange were on display.
Works considered for acceptance were done in the following media, or combinations thereof: Intaglio, Relief, Screen Prints, Hand-pulled Lithographs, Collographs, Monoprints.
New Yorker Sarah Hauser has received an award at the juried non-member's show at Pen & Brush Gallery, 16 East Tenth Street in New York City. The show will be up until November 27, and the reception/awards ceremony will be Sunday November 17, from 2-5 pm (awards at 2:30 pm). ŹThe gallery is open daily from 12-6 pm. For those interested in seeing the award-winning print but who can't make it to the show, it's online on this webpage. Click in the little square, second row, second column, the print is titled "La Vision du Bouledogue Numero Un".
James D. Phelan Printmaking Award Winners. Three California-born artists have been chosen to receive the 2001 James D. Phelan Art Awards in Printmaking. The winners are Bridget Mary Henry, David Kelso and Margaret Van Patten. On Thursday, October 19, during the opening reception for the exhibition of The San Francisco Foundation, each of the winners received a $2,500 award and a commemorative plaque. The reception was held at the Kala Gallery. The gallery is associated with the Kala Art Institute and located at 1060 Heinz Ave, Berkeley Ca.
In San Francisco, Marco Flavio Marinucci held an Open Studio October 20th and 21st, 11-6, 30 Russell Street (at Hyde). On display his "At Home Far Away" portrait series. You can preview Marco's work at his website.
"Off the Street", held in New York City October 21 thru October 29 . Exhibit of color woodblock prints by NH printmaker Matt Brown and NYC printmaker Bill Paden. Check out how Matt & Bill turned a New York apartment into a printmaker's paradise. You can contact Matt via e-mail at:
Those in the Connecticut area had a chance to see Lynita Shimizu's beautiful woodcuts up in a solo show at Quinebaug Valley Community College, 742 Upper Maple Street, Danielson, CT. Gallery hours are Mon-Fri 8:30 am-9pm and Sat 8:30am to 3pm, show ran through Nov. 1st.
Editors Note: Not to be missed is some fine animation of the printmaking process that Lynita has on her website.
L-R, Yuji Hiratsuka, Clarinda White (NWPC) and Dean Clark from Graphic Chemical
Crossing Boundaries Print Symposium, October 10-13, 2001
Sponsored by Portland State University Pacific Northwest College of Art Friends of the Gilkey Center for the Portland Art Museum Northwest Print Council
The symposium started October 10th with a kick-off party at the Portland Art Museum's grand ballroom and with a viewing of the print collection of local collector Jordan Schnitzer. Having spent the entire day between picking people up at the airport and helping set up the vendor fair sponsored by the NWPC I was ready for a party, but was almost too tired to enjoy it! It was great to have so many print enthusiasts in the same room: artists, gallery owners, collectors and vendors who had traveled far to help make the event a success.
On the 11th we arrived at 7 AM to make sure all was well with the vendor fair. We had 26 vendors and all were pretty impressed with what was offered for sale. Paper from around the world at Hiromi paper, supplies from Graphic Chemical, Dick Blick, McClains Printmaking Supply, Stones Litho crayons, Solar plate and Dan Smith were all tempting us. Presses from Conrad, Takach, KB Press and Whelan got a workout with demonstrations. We had about 5 galleries represented and one of the highlights for me personally was seeing all those Japanese woodblock prints at the Carolyn Staley Gallery booth. I am saving my pennies for one of those Hasui prints. They looked twice as wonderful in reality as on the web. I also bought the new book on woodblock from McClains, I haven't had a chance to read it yet but will report on it as soon as I do. Meeting Alex Prentice of McClains again was such fun and seeing Walt Padgett from Grants Pass Oregon, about 300 miles south of Portland was a real treat. Walt does traditional woodblock and his works are very large, 24x36 inches in some cases. He is interested in doing a workshop here and Wanda and I said we would be the first ones to sign up! The only thing missing were more customers. Since I was so involved with the vendor fair I was personally disappointed we did not have more artists walking through and gathering information. We could never have forecast the effect September 11 would have on attendance. Between people being afraid to fly and the large cost of attending the conference ($250) we had only about half of the expected turnout. All the vendors were good sports and had a good time, but I am sure they were disappointed. We did have some good dinners at the end of the day and really got to know one another. A wonderful side event.
The conference themes were self-empowerment, social activism, collaboration, techniques, adaptation of technology, globalization, women in art, politics and the inappropriatness of irony. The conference moved along and was well organized. The conference helped create a clear vision of what attracts us to printmaking; immersion in technical processes, the fact that printmaking is a major tool of communication and the long history we share as printmakers.
Alex Prentice from Mc Clains'
We all enjoy the technical side of printmaking, the feel of the tools in our hands and the satisfaction of seeing our ideas develop on a plate to be reproduced onto paper. I was impressed that printmaking was presented as not only the written history of art but as the history of the visual image and the relationship between the two. Sort of a history of the world in words and pictures. We have long realized that printmaking has historically been largely the dissemination of information; as artists printmakers traditionally seem to speak to a broad audience.
Presenters from all over the globe gave interesting talks, having the room so dark did cause a few of us to nod off at time and I admit I heard a little snoring, but no more than you would expect in any lecture.
I would have welcomed more demonstrations. As you all know I am a process junkie and cannot get enough of any new processes. I had the pleasure of hosting Dan Welden from Solarplate Etching at my home, and did see one wonderful hands-on demonstration on the 12th of these plates at work. We went from inking up a design on mylar to exposing it onto the plate to printing in about 30 minutes. Because the plates are steel backed, Dan used a sheet magnet glued to a cookie sheet to wipe the plates on. Any etchers out there will appreciate the fact that this kept the plate from moving. The plates are very thin so no edges needed to be filed, just corners to keep the tarleton from catching. I was impressed. Dan had planned to go to the coast over the weekend and home on Monday. His plans fell through and like the good sport he is, sat through two long demos of mine for the Oregon Art Educators on Saturday before the closing ceremonies and dinner for Crossing Boundaries. Since Sunday was a free day for him, he worked with me in the studio. Not only did he give me personal help with the solar plates but he fixed my press. So all in all, this was a highlight for me.
Every gallery in the city is showing prints and I have seen just a small amount of them, I still have time so will get out there and see some more prints. I am taking the camera along!
I highly recommend a conference for all of you, meeting others who are so interested in what we are doing as printmakers is more fun that I can convey. There are a lot of us out there and we are all dedicated to keeping our art and craft alive and well.
Plaster of Paris blocks for relief printmaking are simple to make, but for the need of a suitable form for casting the block. Cardboard boxes are often used but cardboard can be flimsy and basically limits you to whatever size box is at hand. Fixed wooden forms, with the requirement of a different mold for each size block, can be also be inconvenient; to make and store. This durable, easy to make, adjustable form allows for effortless formatting of cast plaster blocks.
Assemble each of the four arms of the frame using uniform lengths of 1x4 inch (2.5x10 cm.) solid wood planks and shorter pieces of 2x4 (5x10cm). Make the length of the arms slightly longer than the longest block you envision casting. Stand the planks on edge and attach the smaller blocks with glue and strong nails (or long wood screws) so that you form 'L's like those shown in the drawing. Finish off the arms with a coat of paraffin, paste wax or spar varnish, something that will slow down warping from the wet plaster.
To use the frame, place the arms on top of a smooth, clean surface, such as glass, in the order of 1 through 4, so that you form a slightly oversized mold for your plaster pour. Once you have formatted your mold, lock the arms in place using four 'C'clamps or other devices. Take up modeling clay and roll out some thin, quarter inch 'snakes', pressing these into the inside corners of the form (a through d) and along the bottom edges as a gasket. Because of this gasket, you should always make allowances for the final size of your block. Be careful to make a tight seal with your clay, otherwise the plaster will 'blow-out' the form and create a real mess. It helps matters greatly to have set up your mold, in a large plastic bag, which can be gathered up around the form once the plaster is poured. If you feel the need for a mold release, sparingly paint the gasket and wood form with Formby's Wood Soap. Pour your plaster, to a depth of two inches or more. Reinforcing the block with a section of screen, placed in the plaster about half way through the pour is always a good idea, but is not strictly necessary.
After the block has set up, it can be removed from the form and set aside to cure further. Once it is dry enough to suit your needs, seal the carving surface a good drink of shellac. You can also darken your shellac with common Indian Ink, so as to provide contrast between the surface and the white plaster underneath.
Last of all, remember that plaster is best for mass tones and can not hold very fine lines. You can use many types of tools to carve the Plaster of Paris block, but I do not suggest using fine quality knives and gouges. X-acto blades and gouges do a good job and a simple knife made of spring steel from an old clock is ideal.
A CENTURY OF AMERICAN COLOR WOODCUTS A wide range of color woodcuts from the 1800's through contemporary works will be on exhibit at Hirschl & Adler in New York until Nov 10, 2001. The exhibit includes the big names--from Dow and his School, Lum, to Albers, Nabo, and Lewit, to name just a few.
On Oct. 12 I viewed the exhibit. It is an understatement to say there is so much to marvel at and that the show was impressive. A few observations:
The earlier prints were more traditional landscapes and flowers, the later prints more experimental and were mainly geometric and abstract. Those prints were more likely to have the charasteristic tell-tale cut marks, places where you could almost feel the tool at work, and showed the wood texture as a compositional element. Part of the enjoyment was also standing in front of the prints and trying to figure out how they were done. There was an effective display of an actual woodblock along with the print of it (Dow)
Other woodblocks were shown the same way. One, framed,(Cora Boone) also hanging with its print. It was a floral white-line and the wood was painted. Two versions of the same block were displayed (Blanche Lazell) using different colors, changing the aspect of the semi-abstract landscapes in an intriguing way.
A special part of the experience was to unexpectedly be able to interview and ask questions of Joseph Goddu, the Curator and Director of the Dept. of American Prints at the Hirschl & Adler Gallery. I tried to ask questions that have been discussed on Baren. (Keep in mind that I didn't have time to plan my questions.)
Q. I notice that there is no notation of the number of blocks used, whether hand-printed, type of paper or ink used. Is that information unimportant?
A. That is not important information. It is a specious academic and insignificant question in the face of the large concern: Is it a work of art? Hand-painted woodcuts have a long tradition. It has nothing to do with the value of the woodcut whether it has one color or several, is intricate, hand-printed or carved by the artist. An important question is: Am I moved by what is in front of me?
We then discussed the calling of a Naum Gabo work, elegant in its simplicity (above) a "monoprint" and not a "unique woodblock". This was an unimportant semantic matter. As we know from our discussions many of us have our own preferences and convictions and others are looking for answers.
Q. Do you have anything more to add?
A. The earliest printing in the Western world was color woodcuts in the 14th Century Germany and Italy. Six hundred years of woodcut popularity has never waned.
This exhibit confirms our well-chosen obsession with woodcuts and that we don't need permission to work in personal and imaginative ways. It's not what you do but the way that you do it.
The NY Times Weekend Section will have a review of this exhibit in November and Artnews magazine will also have one in December.
* For a closeup look at the artists and work included, click here.
Recently a discussion was begun on the Baren Forum regarding the quality and light fastness of the relief printing ink product produced and sold by Speedball/Hunt.
Since I have been literally born and bred on Speedball ink, that's what I have continued to use as I have pursued my dream of being a real artist. The biggest complaint about Speedball and their product was that they were not as forthcoming as they could be about the chemical components and light fastness of their product, implying a less than quality product.
So, I put on my "Super Investigator" hat and went to work. I called Speedball and explained my situation; that I loved their product, but many of my compatriots thought the stuff was "kiddie ink" and should be avoided if I was to care at all about the quality and archivalness of my work. After expressing their shock that anyone would think their product was less than quality, they directed me to their head chemist, Al Speedso. Mr. Speedso is very nice and incredibly friendly and welcomes any and all calls regarding their ink (1-800-898-7224). He was nice enough to fax me all the specs regarding their relief ink and is going to see about listing all the information on their website as well (they already do this for some of their other inks). Following are the specs for the ink (all the inks conform to ASTMD-4236 Standards).
Calcined Iron Oxide-CI77492 &
Yellow Iron Oxide-CI77492
Carbazole Violet-CI51319 &
Pigment Red 184-CI12487 &
Pigment Red 57-CI15850
Phthalo Blue-CI74160 &
Calcined Iron Oxide-CI77492 &
Yellow Iron Oxide-CI77492
Carbazole Violet-CI51319 &
Phthalo Blue-CI74160 &
Titanium Dioxide-CI177891 &
*For additional information including an online catalog, check out Speedball's printmaking page.
P.O. Box 5157
2226 Speedball Road
Statesville, NC 28687
Tel: (704) 838-1475 Fax: (704) 838-1472
Made in USA Since 1899
In the last issue we discussed early Japanese prints prior to the development of full color printing. This time we will cover the peak in the art of Japanese woodblock printing : Surimono.
Surimono, literally meaning "suri" (printed) & "mono" (things), combine poetry and printmaking in a wonderful interchange of verbal & visual imagery. Produced mostly during the second half of the Edo period, from the late 18th to the early 19th centuries, these privately published, limited-edition prints are an extremely rare find. Catering to the refined tastes of their wealthy & literati patrons, surimono allowed for a much higher standard of production than the typical commercial print of the day.
The term "surimono" was used generally for printed texts, pictures, or illustrated texts, but by the eighteenth century it was also used specifically for two types of privately published and distributed woodblock prints. One type were announcement, commemorative, or program 'surimono' (with or without verses) for special events such as poetry gatherings, anniversaries, musical performances, and actors' name changes; the other type were "verse pictures" designed for a great variety of subjects and in various styles. Most verse 'surimono' were printed and distributed at the New Year and often included spring imagery.
Because the artists were not restricted by any commercial aspects other than the wishes of the patron, these prints were often produced with an abundant use of lavish gold and silver pigments, fine embossing and using only the very best papers available.
Surimono by Yashima Gakutei, 1786-1868
(woman examining a spider's web in a box)
Surimono were published for New Year greetings, the Cherry Blossom season, for special events, announcements and as gifts. The typical surimono print size is shikishiban, a nearly square size of about 8 by 9 inches (20.5 by 23 cm) but many other print sizes are common. Most ukiyo-e artists of the time also produced surimono. Among the most notables are Hokusai (1760-1849) and his pupils Gakutei (1768-1868), Hokkei (1780-1850) and Shinsai (1764-1820).
Surimono produced in Edo were usually printed with one or more kyoka, 31-syllable poems that make extensive use of wordplay. This literary form was revived in Edo in the 1780s as a form of parody of courtly verse. Kyoka-surimono gained a reputation among collectors for their delightful images and exquisite printing techniques. Their soft, fibrous paper, metallic powders, elaborate embossing, and delicate gradations in tonality distinguish them from other woodblock prints. Over time, surimono imagery became more complex and printing techniques more sophisticated. Some of the most beautiful and innovative compositions were created during the first two decades of the 19th century, usually referred to as the golden age of surimono.
Nagayama Koin (1765-1849)
(The Immortal O Shikyo flying to heaven on the back of a crane)
c. 1825, Large surimono 220x576 mm.
This surimono, lavishly printed with gold pigments, almost three-dimensional embossed outlines and gold flakes, was published in honour of the Osaka actor Nakamura Utaemon III. The poems are by many Osaka actors. The print was one of a pair with the other depicting six cranes in flight.
Surimono print by David Bull
(original design by Yashima Gakutei)
As is the case with commercially made Ukiyo-e prints, original surimono prints have been reproduced by later day printmakers. Fine copies of famous surimono, so-called Akashi copies (the 'copy-A' versions, named after the Japanese town where they were faithfully reproduced in the 1890s) show the same elaborate printing techniques as the originals of the early 19th century. Because of the fine skillset used to create these reproductions, they were taken for originals as late as into the 1970s. It was only in publication of Roger Keyes, "The Art of Surimono", that their existence was documented for the first time.
Printmaker and [Baren] founder David Bull, creates a series of prints that he groups under the title of Surimono Albums. Each album consists of ten beautiful prints reproduced from the work of past masters. Every intricate detail is hand-carved and hand-printed and much like in original surimono, David uses the best of materials and advanced techniques. Because these prints are not available for mass purchase but only to a select group of collectors, in the truest of sense they are "surimono". While holding true to the original design, David sometimes changes composition, size and color schemes to give a refreshing look to centuries old master prints. For a step-by-step look at how a modern day Surimono print is made, go to David's Surimono website. For a detailed interview on surimono by David Bull see the link listed below.
Information for this article was gathered from a number of internet websites specializing on Japanese prints and Surimono.
For more information on Surimono head over to the following books & websites:
Poetry in Japanese prints by J. Fiorillo.
Interview with David Bull on Surimono prints by J. Fiorillo.
Bull, D.: Dave Bull - Woodblock Printmaker [website].
Keyes, R.: The Art of Surimono: Privately Published Japanese Woodblock Prints and Books in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. New York: Sotheby, 1985, vol. 1, p. 169, no. 137.
Suburban Chicago Faculty positions opening. Wm. Rainey Harper College has two full time positions opening in Art for the coming year. 3-D Foundation/Sculpture, and Art History. Information can be obtained at www.harpercollege.com/
Hill End Artists in Residency. Artists working in all media are invited to apply for the fourth season of Hill End residencies. A limited number of residency places in 2002 will be fully funded. 2002 applications close Friday 7 December 2001.
Priority is given to Australian residents, but overseas applicants will be considered. See www.hillendart.com
Oct 31, 2001 ART EDUCATION PROFESSOR WANTED Starting Aug 2002. Tenure-track assistant professorship in art education/art therapy. Terminal degree, registered art therapist, 3 years of teaching. Send letter of application, vita, written statement of art education and/or art therapy commitment and approach (about 500 words), sample papers and publications, syllabi, 10-20 slides of personal work, 10-20 slides of student works, 3 letters of recommendation sent directly to committee, offical transcripts and an SASE for return of materials to: Art Education Search Committee, Illinois St Univ, Box 5620, Normal IL 61790
Dec 31, 2001 ART HISTORY PROFESSOR WANTED Starts Fall 2002. Teach general survey courses and most western area courses. Interest in non-western multicultural curricula desirable. Send letter of application, cv and names of 3 references to: Dennis Silva, Nazareth College, 4245 East Av, Rochester NY 14618 OR http://www.naz.edu
December 31, 2001 RESIDENCIES FOR ARTISTS IN SOUTH INDIA Visual artists are invited to apply for residencies in tropical Kerala, South India, December 2001 - April 2003. Live and work in paradise. Minimum stay - one month. For further information/application forms, please see our website at www.artsresidencies.com or contact us at: South Indian Arts Residencies, Studio 54, Grove Park, Camberwell London SE5 8LE, UK. Email: email@example.com
Jan 15, 2002 ART PROFESSOR WANTED Teach drawing, 3D design and sculpture. MFA required. Send documentation of professional activity, student work and application materials to: Thomas Higgins, Box A, University of Maine, 238 Main St, Farmington ME 04938 OR 207-778-7076 OR firstname.lastname@example.org
January 31, 2002 2 POSITIONS--ART HISTORIANS THE UNIVERSITY OF TULSA, The School of Art is seeking candidates for two tenure-track art history positions, beginning Academic Year 2002-03. 1) Assistant Professor of Art History, specializing in 20th century art with background to teach 19th century and some non-western/world art; 2) Assistant Professor of Art History, specializing in Renaissance, Medieval, or Baroque art and non-western/world art. Both positions require PhD and college-level teaching experience. Responsibilities include teaching introductory and advanced courses in areas of specialty to both studio and art history majors, oversight of slide collection, and an interest in restructuring and administering the art history curriculum and degree program. Review of applications will begin November 1, 2001, and will continue until positions are filled. To apply, please send a letter of application, CV, statement of teaching philosophy, contact information of four references to: Chair, Art History Search Committee, School of Art, The University of Tulsa, 600 South College Av, Tulsa OK 74104-3189. The University of Tulsa is an EEO/AA Employer.
January 31, 2002 DIGITAL ARTIST/ PHOTOGRAPHER THE UNIVERSITY OF TULSA, The School of Art is seeking candidates for a tenured or tenure-track position in Digital Art/ Photography, beginning Academic Year 2002-03. MFA or equivalent required. Applicant must be an active exhibiting artist with a significant record of artistic achievement and the ability to teach digital imaging from a fine arts perspective. Substantive involvement with contemporary issues in the practice, history, and theory of photography is desired. Teaching responsibilities include introductory to advanced courses in digital photography/imaging, as well as a course in traditional photographic media each semester. Knowledge of the following programs required: Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash, and Director. Skills in animation and/or video preferred. Salary and rank commensurate with qualifications and experience. Review of applications will begin November 1, 2001, and will continue until position is filled. To apply, please send a letter of application, statement of teaching philosophy, 20 slides each and /or digital media (Mac compatible CD-ROM or Zip) of own work and student work, contact information of four references to: Chair, Digital Artist/Photographer Search Committee, School of Art, University of Tulsa, 600 South College Av, Tulsa OK 74104-3189. The University of Tulsa is an EEO/AA Employer.
Water-Based Inks, Inc. (Akua Colors) Workshops.
PRINTWORKS MAGAZINE, The Information Resource for Printmakers. Workshops around the world.
BOOTCAMP (June 2002). Woodblock Printmaking Workshop by Canadian artist Graham A, Scholes. Bootcamp Workshop .
FROGMAN'S Press & Gallery, Workshops.
105 North Third Street, P.O. Box 142
Beresford, SD 57004 - 0142
Kala Art Institute, 1060 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710. Workshops and class schedule.
The ANU Canberra School of Art (CSA) specialises in training for professional careers in the visual arts and crafts. It offers PhD, Masters, Honours and Bachelor Degrees and graduate and undergraduate Diploma workshop-based courses in a wide range of disciplines including printmaking. Workshops.
The Wood Engraver's Network (WEN).
Since 1994 WEN is an organization dedicated to the education and enjoyment of relief printmaking and, in particular, engraving upon end-grain wood.
WEN offers the delicate and engaging Block & Burin, a quarterly newsletter (soon to be semiannual) filled with wood engraving history and wisdom. Members design the cover and it is always a beautiful surprise. Members also exchange prints, called Bundles, on a quarterly basis.
Membership information can be found at WEN's new and improved web site:
The forum for wood engraving is here:
October 31, 2001 CALL FOR ENTRIES DEADLINE NOVEMBER 1, 2001. The Art Department of Sinclair Community College is seeking proposals for the 2003 exhibition season. SCC has four separate, professionally designed galleries, including one dedicated to photography-based media. Exhibits are scheduled on a four to six week rotation. Sinclair provides return shipping or an honorarium to defray return travel expenses. For examples of past exhibits, visit http://www.sinclair.edu and check out the Art Department website. For further information, contact email@example.com. Send 10 slides, a slide list with sizes and media, a resume, artist statement, and SASE to: Cindy Tiedemann, Gallery Coordinator, Sinclair Community College, 444 West Third St, Dayton OH 45402-1460
Oct 01, 2001 EXHIBITION PROPOSALS Reviewing proposals for 2D, 3D and installation exhibitions. Juried. For more information contact: Springfield Museum of Art, 37 W Bridge St, Dublin OH 43017 OR 614-889-7444 OR 614-889-9262(FAX) OR http://www.dublinarts.org
Oct 08, 2001 WATERCOLOR EXHIBITION Nov 6-27, 2001. Open to artists working in watermedia. Juried. Entry fee. Cash awards. For a prospectus send an SASE to: Period Gallery, 5174 Leavenworth, Omaha NE 68106 OR 402-556-3218 OR http://www.periodgallery.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
Oct 15, 2001 ART FESTIVAL Jan 26-27, 2002. 25000 visitors expected. Juried. Entry fee. $7500 in awards. For more information contact: Rotary Club, Box 490174, Key Biscayne FL 33149 OR 305-361-0049 OR 305-361-7284(FAX) OR email@example.com
Oct 15, 2001 GRAPHIC ARTS SCHOLARSHIP $500-$1500 for freshman and undergraduate study. Student must be majoring in Graphic Design. Must have a 3.0 GPA. For an application contact: Kristin Winkowski, National Scholarship Trust Fund of the Graphic Arts, 200 Deer Run Rd, Sewickley PA 15143
Oct 22, 2001 ART PROJECT Visual artists and artist teams from CO, AZ, KS, NE, NM, OK, UT and WY are eligible for $30000 project at the Aurora Reservoir. For more information contact: Aurora Reservoir Project, 15001 E Alameda Dr, Aurora CO 80012 OR 303-739-6747 OR http://www.auroragov.org
Nov 01, 2001 ARTS EXHIBITION New museum-quality publication exploring all facets of creative expression. Visual arts, sculpture, music, creative writing, dance, performing art, cooking and gardening. Open to all. Juried. Entry fee. For a prospectus send an SASE to: Joy Magazine, Box 406, Gladwin MI 48624 OR http://www.joymagazine.org
Nov 01, 2001 REGIONAL EXHIBITION Jan 4-Feb 10, 2002. Open to artists in Northern CA. All media except crafts, video and performance. Juried. Entry fee. For a prospectus send an SASE to: Gallery Rte 1, 733 Loring Av, Crockett CA 94525
Nov 01, 2001 FINE ARTS FESTIVAL May 18-19, 2002. Fine art and craft media. Juried. Entry fee. For more information send an SASE to: Arts Center, 11911 Freedom Dr #110, Reston VA 20190 OR 703-471-9242 OR 703-471-0952(FAX) OR http://www.restonart.com
November 8, 2001 Internetartauctions.com is currently accepting artists of all media. For more information please call Steven Roach (9am to 8pm Pst) or go to our website www.internetartauctions.com. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov 09, 2001 PRINTWORKS 2002 , a purchase program for City of Seattle Portable Works Collection. Art must be hand-pulled, original prints or prints incorporating digital and mixed media. Applications can be downloaded at www.cityofseattle.net/arts/funding/calls.htm.
Nov 10, 2001 ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL Nov 23-25, 2001. 50 artists, 2500 expected. Entry fee. For more information contact: Tillett Foundation, 4126 Anna's Retreat, St Thomas VI 00801 OR 340-775-1929 OR 340-775-9482(FAX) OR http://www.tillettgardens.com
Nov 16, 2001 ART COMPETITION Mixed media. Takes place in NC. Juried. Entry fee. For more information contact: Slidell Cultural Center, 985-646-4375
November 23, 2001 "ABSTRACTION 2002." International, open to abstract, non-representational, or non-objective works, 2D or 3D. Juror TBA. Exhibition: December 21 - January 27. Up to 3 slides/$25, $5 each additional. No commission. Excellent publicity; 2500 viewers average. Awards include solo exhibition. Prospectus (required) available at: www.stagegallery.org, or send #10 SASE (4.25" x 9.5" only) to: "ABSTRACTION/Stage Gallery," (including exhibition title is essential!) 238 Frankel Blvd, Merrick NY 11566-4732 OR 516-623-3504
November 30, 2001 NEW ORLEANS ART ASSOC. 22ND NATIONAL SHOW: May 1-31. Prize money over $3000. Juror: Director Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. 1-3 slides $10/each, 4th free. Anyone with a US address is eligible. Slide deadline is Jan 15, 2002. MUST have entry form. Send an SASE to: NOAA/AD, Box 7764, Metairie LA 70010-7764
Nov 30, 2001 MAIL ART SHOW Call for artists who are not waving any flags. Make your own flag that is not a cry for war. Any media. All submissions accepted. For more information contact: Dina Bursztyn, Flag Project, 982 Main St 2nd Fl, Peekskill NY 10566
Dec 10, 2001 EXHIBITION SCREENING Reviewing slides in consideration for a series of group exhibitions in 2002. Submit 10 slides, statement, resume and SASE to: Gallery Korea, 460 Park Av at 57th St, New York NY 10022
December 31, 2001 YEAR 2003 CALL FOR ARTISTS: MID-ATLANTIC REGION Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts seeking artists to fill limited number of slots in 2003 exhibition schedule in following areas: architectural, ceramics, painting, photography & printmaking. Send 12 slides, resume, SASE and $25 entry fee to: HIFA, 124 E Leasure Av, New Castle PA 16101. DEADLINE JANUARY 15, 2001.
December 31, 2001 "Interpreting Landscape" Call for entry, all 2D work accepted including photography. Show dates February 20th - March 20th 2002. Juror Sandra Carpenter - editor of Artist Magazine. Postmark deadline is January 11th. Fees are 25 dollars for non gallery members, and 15 dollars for members. up to five slides. Prizes will be awarded. For a prospectus send an SASE to: Fulton Street Gallery, 408 Fulton St, Troy NY 12180 OR email@example.com OR fultonstreetgallery.org
December 31, 2001 CALL FOR ENTRIES. Ironstone Vineyards 5th. Annual Spring Obsession Juried Art Event. Cash prizes totalling $1,800. First Prize Open Division, $1,000. Open to all US, Canadian & South American 2-dimensional artists. Two Divisions, #1. Open, all 2-dimensional media, 1st. prize, $1000.00, 2nd. Prize $400.00. 3rd. prize $200.00. Plus people's choice award of $200.00. #2. Theme, "A Spring Obsession". Winning piece selected for purchase, becomes format for promotional piece for release of newest vintage of Obsession Wine. Winning Art Poster made from winning art shipped to 40 countries. GREAT EXPOSURE!! Artist name included! Entries judged from 35mm slides, due w/ entry fee January 14, 2002. Accepted art due on site February 13, 2002. Show opens March 16, 2002 through May 12, 2002. For details / prospectus send SASE to: Chris Gomez, Ironstone Vineyards Spring Art, 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys CA 95247
Jan 01, 2002 DISABLED ARTISTS CONTEST Annual art search contest. Disabled artists are encouraged to submit entries for holiday greeting cards. Any medium. $250 honorarium to each artist whose work is selected for use. For more information contact: Courage Center, 3915 Golden Valley Rd, Golden Valley MN 55422 OR 612-520-0585
January 11, 2002 CURRENT WORK 2002: A NATIONAL COMPETITION, slide entries postmarked by January 11, 2002 to Rosenthal Gallery, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina. Two-dimensional works only, $20 entry fee for a maximum of three slides. $1,000 in awards, gallery sales are encourage. Juror, Professor Ralph Steeds, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, North Carolina. For a prospectus send a self-addressed enevelop to: Rosenthal Gallery, Fayetteville State University, 1200 Murchinson Road, Fayetteville NC 28301. For an online prospectus go to http://spacer.uncfsu.edu/artguild/nationalartcompetition.htm OR if you have questions, call: Soni Martin at 910-672-1057 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan 31, 2002 FUNDING AVAILABLE Seeking proposals from media arts organizations. Programs in exhibition, distribution and performance, organizations from emerging countries and conservation and preservation. For more information contact: Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art Science and Technology, 514-987-7177 OR http://www.foundation-langlois.org
January 31, 2002 - International Juried Exhibitions at Period Gallery. "Spiritual Art IV", (Judeo-Christian Theme), Dec 4-26, slides due Nov. 15; "Faces III" and "Painting II", Jan 3-24, slides due Dec 15. $30/3 slides, $5 ea. add'l. $3000 for upcoming shows. AWARDS SOLO EXHIBITION, 3 Cash Awards of Excellence, Purchase Awards, Special Recognitions, Internet Exhibition. SASE to: Period Gallery, 5174 Leavenworth, Omaha NE 68106; 402-556-3218; email email@example.com (include postal address in your email), download entry form at www.periodgallery.com/exhibitions/
Feb 01, 2002 FINE ARTS FESTIVAL Mar 23-24, 2002. Painting, watercolor, graphics, pottery, sculpture, photography, jewelry, mixed media and fine crafts. Juried. Entry fee. $15000 in prizes and purchase awards. For a prospectus send an SASE to: Marita Rhodes, Box 640, Gulf Breeze FL 32562 OR 850-934-5100
NOTE: Date given is deadline for entries. Be sure to request the prospectus. Editor highly recommends subscribing to Art Calendar, Art Deadlines, and a host of other organizations if you find these useful and will be entering competitions.
If anyone at Baren would like to take over compiling entry data for this department, please contact the editor. It usually involves just gathering data on the upcoming printmaking competitions and other "promising works on paper" calls for entries. Sources this issue: Art Calendar, Art Deadlines, Access Art Deadline, direct e-mails and mailings to editor
The search for good tools and materials is a never-ending activity for the woodblock printmaker. Unlike days of old, when the technology had wide commercial applications and supplies were thus readily available, in the modern world woodblock printmaking has ... how shall we put this ... a rather limited appeal.
In consequence, supplies - good supplies - are difficult to come by in many parts of the world. But there is one place where woodblock printmaking is still practiced widely, and that is Japan. Hobby-level supplies are available locally in any town, in stationery shops and do-it-yourself centers, and professional tools are still made for those who need them.
But Japanese suppliers are focused on their domestic market and have no ability or experience in dealing overseas. The foreign customer too, finds it very difficult to obtain knowledge about the products that are available in Japan, and how to get them.
This is where the printmakers of the [Baren] group are stepping forward - to put these two 'worlds' together.
The [Baren] Mall is a buying service - it has no physical store, there is no inventory, and there are no employees. Orders placed on this website are transmitted to the mall manager (a [Baren] member), who also processes the payment. The manager forwards the order to the appropriate suppliers in Japan, where the goods are immediately packaged and shipped directly to the customer (by Air Post). [Baren] settles the account with the Japanese suppliers later - receiving a small commission in return for acting as 'go-between'.
The dealers are happy to have their products exposed to a global market - the consumers are happy to be able to have easy access to the supplies - and the [Baren] group gets a small boost to its treasury, to help this non-profit group fund some of the exhibitions and activities it undertakes around the world.
Since last issue, Barbara Mason has taken over the day-to-day running of the Baren Mall. Our many thanks to Maria Arango for her big part in getting the mall project up and running.