Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Moku Hanga (again)

Originally uploaded by kylie budge
Seeing the work by artists like Kylie Budge pictured here and the always wonderful Annie Bisset makes me itch to try moku hanga yet again. Hanga is the traditional technique of Japanese waterbased woodblock printmaking and other than using wood it is a world away from western style. Frankly I don't know if I have the patience for it. I'm really into subtle colors and think the final product would work very well with my style but I am scared to dive in without taking a class and recieving some hands on instruction. Something I can't seem to find locally. The closses class I have found is some three hours away in New Hampshire. It is pretty ridiculous that a city like Boston completely lacks classes in this method. But seeing how gorgeous hanga can be I am wanting to try more and more. There is an interesting discussion going on in the Flickr printmaking group about inks that led to discussing hanga and ways to experiment with it without breaking the bank buying new supplies. You see hanga not only doesn't use the same inks but you apply the inks in a totally different way. Instead of rolling it on with brayers they are applied with special brushes that often look a lot like shoe brushes except they cost about ten times as much. Apparently while the fancy imported brushes designed for the method are ideal there are cheap alternatives for people like me that want to try it without plonking down hundreds of dollars in case I don't take to it. I'll have to investigate it. But in the end without getting instruction I don't know how soon I will be doing this because I know how a bad experience on my own can really turn me off of a technique. At least early on I need guidance.

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