About this print
I’ve created this woodblock print of an egret on a snow-covered branch, after Koson, by individually printing it by hand onto Zerkall paper. The original design is by Ohara Koson, a Japanese artist of the shin-hanga, “new prints” movement. Koson was active in the late 19th and early 20th century, producing mainly bird-and-flower prints (kachō-e). I am a big fan of Koson’s work and have re-produced several of his designs using blocks I’ve carved myself.
My reference for this design was an image from the book “Crows, Cranes and Camelias”. My own interpretation of Koson’s design is simpler than the original in that I have made this a single-block print using only intense black ink to create a dramatic contrast within the scene.
The print making process
Japanese cutting knives and chisels were used to carve into a piece of flat, smooth cherry wood to create the printing block. I then printed from this blocks using pigmented ink. During the printing process, I apply ink to a 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. The process is repeated until I achieve the required depth of colour.
Every print in a batch is made in the same way, but each time I ink and press the block 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 an Egret on a Snow-Covered Branch, after Koson, is one of several featuring birds. If you like this one, have a look at others such as Chaffinch, or Rooster and Hen. You might also like other monochrome prints Team BG, Oyster Catchers, or Sea Holly.
When the print is finished, I blind print my chop seal in the corner so it appears embossed.
Print size is 3.5″ x 7.5″ (8.5cm x 19cm) approx.
The print comes mounted and ready to frame, with double bevel-cut mount – overall size is 8″ x 12″ (20.5cm x 30.5cm) 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.