How I made this print
I’ve created this woodblock print of a magnolia stellata flower by individually printing it by hand onto Japanese Tosa-shi paper. It’s based on a photo I took of the magnolia plant in the front garden of my studio.
I used Japanese tools to carve into pieces of flat, smooth cherry wood to create the printing blocks. I printed each colour from these blocks using water-based pigment inks and a series of stencils. During the printing process, I apply ink to a block, and then lay the paper onto it. I then press on the back of the paper using a Japanese hand-printing press called a baren. In total, the sheet of paper has been printed on at least 25 times. This is to achieve the variety and depth of colour of the final image. The areas that are left unprinted create the “white” of the petals. I also lay the paper onto the clean carved block and press through from the back for the embossed effect on the petals. This adds a three-dimensional quality to the print.
Every print in a batch is made in the same way, but each time the block is inked and pressed slightly differently. This results in a succession of seemingly identical but actually unique prints – each and every one is an individual, hand crafted and original work of art.
When the print is finished, I blind print my chop seal and signature seal in the corner so they appear to be embossed.
Print size is 4″ x 4″ (10cm x 10cm) approx.
The print comes mounted and ready to frame, with double bevel-cut mount – overall size is 10″ x 10″ (25.5cm x 25.5cm) 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.