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Japanese Woodblock printing Workshop @JCE

Two weeks ago, Papercake went to a woodblock printing workshop organized by Japan Cultural Exchange in Amsterdam. It was two and half hours’ hard work but totally worth it! The workshop was instructed by Akane Mori from Takezasado studio established in 1891 in Kyoto, Japan.


It was about creating your own postcard sized design. Of course, I had to make this name tag for “PaperCake”!


There were four of us and we began with a presentation of the history of woodblock printing.


These are the tools that we used.


We start with drawing the design on a sheet of thin and translucent paper. I think oven sheet will work pretty well here. Then we turn the sheet over and placed it on the wood block. Under the drawing sheet, we place a sheet of transfer paper to transfer the design to the woodblock by going through the design with a pencil with a sharp point.


Now the carving part. We firstly use the one shown above to cut along all the lines as deep as possible. This will make it a lot easier to create a clean cut later on.

Then we carefully carve out the parts around the design.


Once this was done, we moved on to use another tool to remove the rest of the wood in the blank area.


Then we will apply the water color ink onto the design. Before that, we will add some glue. Once the ink is applied, a brush is used to spread the ink evenly on the design.



After that, we place the paper gently on the design and use a flat object to carefully go around woodblock to create the final print. These are what I created during the workshop, not too bad for the first time, right ?


After the workshop, I also visited the Pop Up shop organized by JCE that featured all kinds of lovely creations from Kyoto.

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