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Learn The Beautiful Art of Japanese Printmaking
Discover New Materials and Methods - Traditional and Contemporary
Extend Your Creative Potential
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Mokuhanga Studio Stay and Study Information

Welcome to our Mokuhanga Studio Stay and Learn. We want you to feel comfortable while you are with us, and also to get the best use of your time, so please read the following information.

 

About staying with us
We have had many people stay with us short or longer term, and enjoy the company. We hope you feel welcome, relaxed and comfortable. The house is comfortable but not large - the studio is in what would be the lounge, your room is nearby and is quiet and away from other parts of the house. We enjoy chatting and getting to know each other as well as keeping focus on your learning mokuhanga in a calm and co-operative manner.

 

About meals
We prepare and eat relatively simple vegetarian meals. The menu is not set and varies each day. Examples of the kinds of food are:
• Rice and in season vegetable dishes
• Miso soup
• Udon or soba (noodles)
• Tofu & Tempeh (soy foods)
• Various beans occasionally
• Vegetable curries with rice
• Bread and salad sandwiches for lunches
• Muesli, toast and coffee for breakfast
• Various teas are available - British tea, herb teas, some Japanese tea.
• Dairy milk and soymilk are available and occasionally cheese, hummus and crackers
• Condiments - soy sauce, mayonnaise, sesame salt, jam, vegemite etc.
• Fruit - in season fruits

 

As well as meat, we don't prepare or provide special / restricted diets, eg organic, gluten free, dairy free, reduced salt, low fat, allergy free, additional specific foods, medical requirements. If you have any special diet requirements, it is better that you prepare your own meals. We would much rather you are comfortable with the food option for your stay. Please bear in mind that Ballarat has limited availability of many specialist foods, so you may have to bring your own. If you want to change the food payment option you have already made, that is no problem.

 

Weather
Ballarat is cooler than other parts of Victoria, so warmer clothes are recommended. The studio has a wooden floor, which is cold on the feet so please bring warm slippers, even in warmer months.

 

Timetable
• Breakfast 7am
• Tuition starts 8.30am
• Lunch 12pm (according to progress) for about half an hour
• Tuition finishes 4.30pm
• Dinner 6.30 / 7pm
• Tea / Coffe break - any time we feel like it!

 

Aya and I get up earlier but won't disturb you and usually go to bed about 9 - 9.30pm
Aya and I also like to go for a walk in the afternoon about 4.30, which you are very welcome to join.
Aya will be busy with study while we are working and also in the evening. Most evenings I also have work to do for my Mokuhanga school - emails, marketing etc but occasionally watch a movie or video on my laptop.
You are free to keep working in the studio or your room, read or another activity.

 

TV / Internet / Phone
We don't have a TV or a land line telephone! We have wifi internet available. It is not unlimited, but moderate use is ok – emails, browsing, some youtube etc.

 

Bathroom / Laundry
Bathroom and toilet is shared, and a washing machine is available for you to use when you wish. Clothes are hung outside to dry.

 

Smoking / Alcohol
There is no smoking in the house. We may enjoy a little alcohol from time to time (wine / sake / beer) but don't want this to interfere with your study.

 

Pets
There are no pets at our house, and no facility for pets to stay.

 

Location
We are located at Mount Clear, about 5km from the centre of Ballarat. A well-stocked supermarket is just across the road in a shopping centre that has a Post Office, Chemist, Bakery and other shops.
A quiet walking track is very close, and a bus stop is just across the road as well.

What is Mokuhanga?

bijin-traditional-web

Detail of traditional print "Haru Nano Higashi Genji" by Kunichika Toyohara

 

Mokuhanga is the traditional water based printing technique, originating in China and perfected in Japan.

A print is created through design, carving blocks for each colour, then printing each colour successively until the print edition is completed.

 

Mokuhanga is the Japanese word for wood block print. The Japanese characters 木版画 are 木 wood, 版 block and 画 picture.

 

In Japan its meaning is the print itself, but in general contemporary use it means both the print and the technique. Mokuhanga is growing in popularity worldwide as learning becomes more accessible to people outside of Japan.

 
 

 

Kunisada Printmaking tripty

 

 

 

Mokuhanga is chemical free, non-toxic, environmentally friendly, uses relatively simple hand tools and equipment and requires little space to produce beautiful work. The natural beauty of the materials - wood, pigment and hand-made paper are all retained and enhance each other. A great choice for Artists or any creative person!

 

no-poisons no-press

 

 

 

Kyoto Mokuhanga & Tokyo Ukiyo-e Tours

kyoto torii

 Find out more about these exciting, small-scale and unique tours

Tokyo & Nagano Brochure (PDF)

Kyoto Mokuhanga Brochure (PDF)

Students Login Here

Looking for the Kyoto School?

Are you looking for Richard Steiner's Kyoto International Mokuhanga School?

Find it here:Kyoto School Website

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are you running classes at later dates?

Yes! Our aim is to make Mokuhanga popular and accessible in Australia, so we would like to run as many courses as we can. This means repeating workshops and weekly courses. If you can't make an already scheduled weekend or weekly time, keep in touch by email, or keep watch on the website for upcoming courses as they are announced.

Do I have to make a Japanese style print?

No - you can make any style of image you prefer! Although the technique is "Traditional Japanese", your image can be anything you like, from realistic to abstract, single colour to multi colour..

 

The technique and medium lends itself to certain kinds of images - simplified imagery with clear blocks of colour is easiest to achieve for the beginner and fine lines and complicated combinations is better for the more experienced mokuhanga artist.

 

For your first print we will stress the importance of starting simply, as it is easy to become frustrated with a complicated piece in the beginning as you are just coming to terms with carving and printing.

 

 

I have some lino tools, are they OK to use?

Yes and er... no, it depends on the quality of the tools. You can carve with any tools that are sharp enough, and the Shina plywood we supply is relatively soft and easy to carve. With the cheapest tools it is not possible to get a sharp edge and you will soon become frustrated with these. It is better to use tools of higher quality - you will get better results, carving will be easier and more enjoyable, and you will progress quicker.

 

By all means bring the tools you have to a course and we can look at them and give our opinion. In course you can trial the student sets we sell and see if they are suitable for you.

 

 

My hands are not strong, can I carve the wood?

Some older people with weak hands or people with physical problems (such as RSI) find the intensive carving work difficult. If you are not used to using your hands, a weekend workshop can leave your hands tired / sore from holding and pushing the chisels.

 

If you think it is a problem you will need more time and less pressure to complete the carving and a weekly workshop might be more suited for you. The Shina plywood is relatively soft and with care you can carve a simple project. In the workshop we also have some time to assist your carving.

 

In the end it is your decision if you would like to try.

Will it take long to become good at Mokuhanga?

How long... well it depends how much you practice like every kind of skill. You could do one course to get the basics and then practice on your own, continuing to make your own mokuhanga, or you could do several courses and move on to more advanced levels. In reality it will take some time to fully grasp the fundamentals, become competent and consistent. Also you may have an existing skill set that you can apply - printmaking skills, art skills with other media, woodworking skills..

 

So, sorry there is no easy answer.

 

If you have never printed before it is realistic to aim for a simple, finished print from one course, but you will then need further practice or courses to develop the skills you need to make multi-colour prints with quality printing and registration and few or no errors.