I was delighted when I was awarded an a-n Professional Development bursary to help me attend this residency. I have been wanting to explore Japanese water based woodblock (mokuhanga) for some time, for many reasons – my attraction to the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi, my interest in japan and it’s close ties with nature and traditional and enduring use of natural materials, the low tech qualities of this art form, to name a few. As a stained glass artist ( but also a qualified medical herbalist with a passion for nature) , much as I love stained glass, I have been feeling increasingly uncomfortable using so many toxic substances and using so much industrial ‘kit’ …. and feeling drawn to mokuhanga, liking the practice of immersing oneself in something to really learn it, combined with the inability to get a rigorous training in the uk, I applied and was awarded a place on the basic training course in autumn 2016. So, I committed to a 5 week residency in rural Japan!
A few pictures of a local community event that we went to, plus some of paper making processes at Nenba.
Then it snowed here , the first time in 50 odd years that it has snowed so early in the winter – on my birthday too, what a treat. The area transformed into a magical landscape…. snow eggs and all!
we walked over to the local school that day too, to take part in a cultural exchange. We talk a bit about ourselves to a grade 4 class, and they asked us some interesting questions. Great to see where the other artists come from too – 4 from the USA and 1 from Canada. I’m the sole European representative!
These are all steps on the way to the final version : 4 blocks I tried using bokashi, using just sumi ink ( black) , rotating the block …. the final version has the Prussian blue bokashi as homage to the ukiyo-e prints of the 17th and 18th centuries.
There are lots of great things to do …. and although the studio hours were 9 til 6 luckily the weekend weather was pretty good so we got out and about to the reconstructed village of Nemba, walked some of the 1000 mile Tokai trail, and walked around locally