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Woodblocks are carved from boxwood, cherry and birch.

Traditional chisels used for carving.

A baren
A "baren" is used to rub the paint onto the print.

Create your own woodblock print

During the Edo period, the process of woodblock printmaking was typically broken down into various specialties: First, an artist would sketch a design. From that drawing, a block copyist would create a very fine black-and-white drawing on paper. That print would be passed on to blockcarvers who, using chisels, would carve a series of woodblocks—first, a "key block" showing the outlines of the print, and then one block for each color to be printed. Often, more than 15 blocks were required. The blocks were typically carved from aged, cherry wood.

When the blocks were complete, printers would apply ink using brushes. Laying a sheet of paper on top of the block, the printer rubbed the ink onto paper using a round, flat pad, called a "baren."

Woodblock printLet's Print!
In this application, you can choose the colors for each stage of a woodblock print.

Note: This application requires installation of Flash 5. Download Flash.

Top: Takashi Collection
Left: Images courtesy of Baren Mall
Above: Temple Roof Snow/David Stones.

Visit these Web sites for more more information on the process of making Japanese woodblock prints
The Woodblock Prints of David Stones
David Bull's Surimono Albums
The Production of Japanese Woodblock Prints

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