I intend on this page to have descriptions of methods: my own rice making recipe, a bit on how I handle my papers (wetting, storage, drying), a piece about managing brushes, sharpening gouges. . .

In the meantime you might like to be aware there is just about everything you may need to know posted in Dave Bull's Encyclopedia for Woodblock Printkmaking.




(This page needs work and . . . I'll get back to it sometime.)

Paste recipe:

Start with bookmaker's rice starch (made by and available from Lineco, Holyoke, MA). Can also use rice flour.

Mix in the pan a proportion of approximately 1:7.5 rice starch to water. I use ½3 tbspn starch to ⅓2 cup water.

Stir continuously over a low heat, until mixture begins to thicken and turns translucent. Remove from heat (a bit before it begins to boil). This usually takes about five minutes.

Kept in the refrigerator paste will remain good 4 - 5 days or more.

Wetting the papers:

Having printing papers evenly moist and at a constant level of moisture during the printing session is key. I like to have on hand the following tools for this task: a board (called in Japan a yoko-ita, mine is a piece of kitchen counter laminate board approx. 21"x27", mounted on a box holding it approximately 8" off the floor (I print sitting cross-legged on a low box on the floor), a wide hake brush or dosa brush, a spray bottle for water, a damp toweI.  Try to begin preparing papers 4 or 5 hours (or overnight) before printing. To begin I lay out on the yoko-ita my stack of papers cut to size for printing, the bowl of water, the hake brush. Sheet by sheet I re-stack the papers applying the water-loaded hake brush to every other sheet with broad even strokes (i.e. building a stack one wet, one dry). How much water I use depends on the type of paper, on the weather, on the size of the sheets. On top of this stack I lay the damp towel covered by the sheet of plastic. After letting this sit at least an hour, I re-build the stack, sheet by sheet, in a pile which is 'spread out’, with each sheet covering approximately half the sheet below in a pattern which will cover an area probably three times the size of a single sheet. This new pile I let sit for three hours or longer under the towel and plastic. Its function is to allow the water to move evenly through all the papers. Re-stacking this pile onto a straight stack again sets the paper ready for printing.

Matt Brown . . . . . . . 23 Washburn Hill Rd. Lyme, NH 03768 . . . . . . 603-306-6547. . . . . .