Making a Moku Hanga Print 2

(Continuation of part 1)

When the plates are cut, the remaining paper can be removed with water. To be sure that everything fits well I make a print with all plates, but without gradations and not bothering with mixing the colours I want.
I can see where some parts have to be recut. Also I make some notes regarding the gradation.
Surely the final print will not look like this.

Detail of test print

Now it´s time to decide about the colours.
I mix the pigment with some water and alcohol and put them in a jar.
Before printing, the japanese washi-paper has to be moistened. I leave it between wet newsprint for some hours. The washi, wenn I get it, is not sized, that means, it absorbs water very easily.
To regulate the absorption of water and strengthen the paper, it is sized with a solution of animal glue and alum, an aluminum salt. This must be done at least some days bevor moistening the paper again. Also the plate has to be moistend before printing.

Now ready for printing:

I put some rice paste on the plate (difficult to see, but you can see the reflections on it) and some water-pigment- suspension.
Then it is mixed and spread over the plate with a special brush.

I put the paper in the kento-notches and protect it with some baking paper.
Then I rubb it with a tool called Baren. The original Baren ist made from bambus chords with a bambus leaf as cover.
To print the areas I need some pressure. I use a self made baren from cardbord with pins in it, that works quite well for this purpose.

The homemade Baren

Here´s the print with the first two colours:

You notice the gradations and the different kinds of blue.



To be continued