About this print
I’ve created this woodblock print of a female nude, after Narumi, by individually printing it by hand onto Japanese Kanoko paper. The original design, by Japanese artist Ichijō Narumi, was first published in 1906.
I have used tools, techniques and materials similar to those that would have been used around 100 years ago in Japan to create the original edition.
The print making process
Japanese cutting knives and chisels were used to carve into pieces of flat, smooth cherry wood to create the printing blocks – one for the water and one for the hair. During the printing process, I apply ink to the surface of the block, and then lay the paper onto it. Next, I press on the back of the paper using a Japanese hand-printing press called a baren.
Each colour in the design is printed from the two blocks to build up the layers. The first layer is a mixture of Sennelier watercolours, water and rice paste, for the water. The second layer uses sumi ink for the black of the hair. The unprinted areas also allow for an appreciation of the delicate beauty of the Japanese washi paper.
Every print in a batch is made in the same way, but each time I ink and press the blocks slightly differently. This results in a succession of seemingly identical but actually unique prints. Each and every one is an individual, hand crafted work of art.
This woodblock print of a Female Nude Seated in Water is based on a design by Ichijō Narumi. This version is close to that of Narumi’s original design of 1906 in that it is a simple two colour print. (I’ve also created my own version of this print as a special edition). If you’re attracted to Japanese designs, you might also like Koson’s Egret, or Hiroshige’s Blossoming Plum.
When the print is finished, I blind print my signature seal in the corner so it appears embossed.
Print size is 5″ x 7½” (12.5cm x 19cm) approx.
The print comes mounted and ready to frame, with double bevel-cut mount – overall size is 11″ x 14″ (28cm x 36cm) approx.
I mount the print onto the backing board using photo corners. I also attach an information sheet explaining how the print was made on the reverse.
The print comes packaged in a crystal clear cellophane bag. I send prints in a board-backed envelope by Royal Mail.