Mokuhanga is a lot of things. It is a meditative process even at its most chaotic. And a lot like meditation, where you need patience, calm, and to breathe, it is a craft that pushes you to be your best.
I speak with mokuhanga printmaker and author Faith Stone on this episode of The Unfinished Print. Faith's current work is to preserve the Buddha woodblock, a once-thriving tradition within mokuhanga, to preserve it for years to come.
Faith speaks with me about her introduction to Tibetan Buddhist Thangka painting, the history of these beautiful images, her process, tools and materials. She also discusses experimentation, her teachers within her life, and what inspiration means to her.
Please follow The Unfinished Print and my own mokuhanga work on Instagram @andrezadoroznyprintsor email me at [emailprotected]
Notes: may contain a hyperlink. Simply click on the highlighted word or phrase.
Artists works follow after the note. Pieces are mokuhanga unless otherwise noted.
Faith Stone- website, Instagram
Thangka paintings - known as “sacred paintings,” originated from Tibet. They are commissioned for various reasons, some for meditation, prosperity, merit, etc. Depending on the commission, thangka paintings use multiple pigments and imagery. Peaceful or ferocious deities and mandalas can be pictured.
Rudi’s Bakery - established in Boulder, Colorado, in 1976, this once mom-and-pop shop bakery serves organic and gluten-free baked goods around the United States.
Celestial Seasonings - is an American tea company based in Boulder, Colorado. It started in 1969.
Colorado -established by settlers in 1876 but initially inhabited by many Native American peoples, such as the Cheyenne, Pueblo, Ute, Comanche, and Apache. The state is known for the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Eastern Plains. For more information about Colorado, check out its tourist and visitor info here.
Zoo New England - comprises both the Franklin Park Zoo and the Stone Zoo. Founded in 1912, the FPZ is on 72 acres of land in Franklin Park, Boston. The Stone Zoo is 26 acres near the Spot Pond reservoir and located in Stoneham, Massachusetts, about 12 miles (19km) away from each other. More info found here.
Albert Rudolph (Swami Rudrinanda) [1928-1973] - was a spiritual teacher and yogi originallty from New York City.
Pointillism - is a technique in painting conceived by Georges Paul Seurat (1859-1891) and Paul Signac (1863-1935), where small compounded dabs of colour create an image. More info from Sotheby's, here.
Paul Signac - Portrait Of Félix Fénéon 1890, oil on canvas
Shiva - is one of the principal deities of Hinduism, which creates, protects, and transforms the universe. More info can be found here.
Ganesh - in Hinduism, Ganesh is one of Shiva’s offspring. Ganesh is a benevolent deity said to remove obstacles in your life, both spiritually and materially. More info can be found, here.
Durga - is, in Hinduism, the mother protector of the universe and a warrior goddess. Depicted with eight hands in the form of a mudra, Durga holds eight weapons. More info can be found, here.
Waves On The Turquoise Lake- was an art exhibition at The University of Colorado at the Boulder Art Museum in 2006. It exhibited Tibetan artists from Tibet and in exile from around the world.
Karma Phuntsok - is a contemporary Tibetan artist who lives and works in Australia. His work is his take on Buddhist art and history. More info can be found on his website, here.
Van Buddha - painting
El Dorado Canyon State Park - was established in 1978 and is located near Boulder, Colorado. It is 885 acres known for hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking.
Tara - is one of the most powerful deities in the Buddhist pantheon. Some Buddhist traditions see her as a guide, as a bodhisattva, or as a philosophy of living.Find more info, here.
Faith Stone - 22" x 28"
Mount Wai’ale’ale - is a volcano on the island of Kaua’i, Hawai’i. The mountain is 5,148 ft. It is one of the rainiest on the planet, with 460 inches of rain annually.
Shakti - has many meanings, such as goddess energy, death and life, and the natural elements of the universe. The Aisa Society has an excellent article for a detailed description of Shakti, here.
Rama - is an important deity in Hinduism, and is the seventh avatar of Vishnu.
Shoichi Kitamura - is a woodblock carver and printmaker and has been involved in MI Lab through demonstrations. More info can be found, here.
Kyoto Senbon Torii (2021)
Hiroki Morinoue - is a mokuhanga printmaker and artist living in Holualoa, Big Island, Hawai’i. He is a co-founding member of the Holualoa Foundation For Arts & Culture, the establishment of the Donkey Mill Art Center and Studio 7 Fine Arts.
Iceberg Cube (2016)
Anderson Ranch Arts Center - located in Snowmass, Colorado- was established in 1966 by Paul Solder, who worked in Japanese ceramics called raku. Today it is an international Arts Center with artist-in-residence programs, visiting artists, a print shop, wood turning, master classes and more. Information can be found here. Information can be found, here.
Gotō Hidehiko(b.1953) - is a mokuhanga printmaker and tool maker based in Japan. He makes and teaches seminars about the construction of the mokuhanga tool, the baren.
Stone Window -20-3/4" x 17"
April Vollmer- is an established artist who works predominantly in mokuhanga. Her bookJapanese Woodblock Print Workshopis one of the most authoritative books on the subject and has influenced many mokuhanga artists.
Dark Light (2015) 16.5" x 13.5"
MI Lab- is a mokuhanga residency located in Kawaguchi-ko, near Mount Fuji. More info can be found,here.
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design - located in Denver, Colorado and was founded by Philip J. Steele in 1963. It is an art school with many different programs and subjects in the arts. You can find more information here.
Mayumi Oda - is a Buddhist teacher and artist who works and lives in Hawai’i. Her work has travelled the world. Mayumi is also an environmental activist and continues to live and work at Ginger Hill Farm, an eco-retreat on the Big Island of Hawai’i. More information about Mayumi Oda’s work can be found here.
Storyville II - silkscreen, 24.6" x 33.9"
Jing Jing Tsong - is an American illustrator of books. She is also a printmaker in lithography and monoprints. You can find her work on her website, here.
Munakata Shikō(志功棟方) - (1903-1975) arguably one of the most famous modern printmakers; Shikō is renowned for his prints of women, animals, the supernatural and Buddhist deities. He made his prints with an esoteric fervour where his philosophies about mokuhanga were just as interesting as his print work.
Hanami no Saku (Tanizaki Utauta Nangasaku - 1956)
Bodhisattva - a person who has achieved enlightenment through spiritual practice, whether meditation or through good deeds. The word "bodhisattva" can are found in Indian Buddhism and its associated traditions, as representing the Buddha and his transformations. In the Mahanaya tradition of Buddhism, a bodhisattva desires enlightenment as a buddha.
kozo paper -is paper made from mulberry bark and is commonly used in woodblock printmaking.
Manjushuri - is the bodhisattva of wisom and is associated with the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism.
Faith Stone - 22" x 28"
Vajrakilaya - is a wrathful deity in Tibetan Buddhism who embodies the enlightenment of all Buddhas. Commonly described as a deity with three faces, all with a crown of skulls, with six arms carrying various ritual implements in Tibetan Buddhism.
Cow Rinpoche - is a painting by Karma Phutsok. This particular series of paintings shows animals in exhalted positions on a lotus. They are depicted like a traditional thangka painting.
Dakini As Art - is an online art gallery which sells and distributes Buddhist art throughout the world. More info can be found on their website, here.
Lakshmi - is a goddess in the Hindu pantheon of deities and is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, sitting on the lotus throne.
Kehinde Wiley - is a portrait artist based in New York City. His work focuses on fusing the past and the present while creating a dialgoue about power, gender, race and reimagining the past. More information can be found on his website here.
Portrait Of A Young Gentleman (2021) oil on linen and canvas
LaToya Hobbs - is a painter and printmaker based in Baltimore, Maryland. She explores relief printmaking and painting together in her works. Her topics deal with the Black female body and stereotypes. More information can be found on LaToya’s website here.
Nina's Gaze - relief, ink and acrylic on wood (2019) 20" x 16"
hangintō sizes - the hangitō is a stylized Japanese mokuhanga tool. It is the primary tool in mokuhanga and is used in cutting lines and for colour blocks. It comes in various sizes depending on your ability and the technique. The lower number on the handle signifies the blade's thinness, therefore, the experience of the carver.
kentō- is the registration system used by printmakers in order to line up the colour woodblocks with yourkey block, oroutline block, carved first.
McClains Woodblock Print Supply Co. - based in Portland, Oregon, McClain's is the go-to supplier of woodblock print tools in the United States. Their website can be foundhere. The Unfinished Print interview with Daniel Jasa of McClain’s can be foundhere.
floating kentō - is a removable registration system attached to the block when printing. As the kentō isn't affixed to the block, blotting and immaculate borders are positives of this registration method. It is an "L" shape.
baren - is a Japanese word to describe a flat, round-shaped disc, predominantly used in creating Japanese woodblock prints. It is traditionally made of a cord of various types and a bamboo sheath, although baren have many variations.
urauchi - is a way of backing Japanese washi paper to the back of works on paper. This process is used in bookbinding, scrolls and can be used in mokuhanga.
Ozu Washi- is a paper store located in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo.website,Instagram
alum -is a binder used in paper mounting, fabric dyeing, household items such as fire extinguishers, and baking powder. It is also used in size for washi to hold pigments better in your works.
Tetsuo Sayama - was an instructor at MI Lab until his passing in 2019. He worked closely with students, was a scholar of Japanese printmaking history, and left an impression on many who got to know him.
Washi Arts is an online brick-and-mortar paper store in Blaine, Washington, USA. They sell Japanese papers for crafts, bookbinding, mokuhanga, and other artistic media. More info can be found on their website here.
Shin-Torinoko paper- is a mass produced, machine made Japanese paper that is relatively inexpensive. It comes in various weights and colours. More info can be found,here.
kitakata- is a specific type of washi made of Philippine gampi, and sulphite pulp. For bookbinding, and mokuhanga and other types of printmaking. More info,here.
Saraswati - is the Hindu goddess of knowldedge and dispells ignorance.
monoprint - is a type of relief print which uses metal or glass, even wood. The final outcome is one good print.
Grumbacher - is an art supply company started by Max Grumbacher in 1905 in New York City. It is now owned and operated by Chartpak Inc. More info, here.
Winsor & Newton- is a British artist supply company, started in 1832, which sells artist materials such as pigments, brushes, paper, etc. More info can be found,here.
M. Graham & Co. - is a company founded in the late 1990’s which provides many different types of pigments for all kinds of artists. More info can be found, here.
Da Vinci Paint Co. - was founded in 1975 in Orange County, California. They make an assortment of watercolours, oils, heavy-body and fluid acryl, and gouache. More info here.
Tōsai Pigment Paste - is a brand of pigments manufactured by Holbein, Japan. They were conceived by mokuhanga printmaker Richard Steiner. Tōsai is the name given to Richard by his teacher. Richard's invteriew with The Unfinished Print can be found, here.
Roslyn Kean - is an Australian printmaker who makes her ball bearing baren called the Kean Ball Bearing Baren. The KBB baren comes in two sizes and are lighter than the yuki baren or other ball-bearing barens. Roslyn's baren are made of high-grade plastic. For more information about Roslyn, her work, and baren can be found,here.
Defining The Edge 1 - 70 x 50 cm
sumi - is a rich black stick or liquid used by artists, calligraphers, and traditional Japanesehorimonotattoo artists. Sumi is made from the soot of burnt lamp oil. Sumi is used predominantly in key blocks in traditional mokuhanga and to mix pigments. Pigment Tōkyō conducts a great interview with their chief of pigments, Kei Iwaizumi, about sumi ink,here.
tapa cloth - is a designed barkcloth found throughout the islands of the South Pacific, French Polynesia, New Zealand, and Hawai’i, where it is called kapa. Kapa is made slightly differently than tapa; different shapes are used for a more robust design.
Japanese book-binding - in Japan, the binding of books began with scroll books based on the Chinese method. Other binding methods evolved, such asflutter books(sempūyō)andbutterflybooks (detchōsō).By the Edo Period (1603-1868) and with the relative peace of the period, washi paper was produced steadily, creating a demand for books.Tale of GenjiandTales of Isewere published in this form for the first time. *
shallow carving - isa way to add dimension and texture to a woodblock. Various sizes of u gouges work well. It can make beautiful shades of colour within your work.
Maile Andrade - is a mixed media artist who has focused on the Hawai’ian kapa process of weaving mentioned above. Kapa, made with mulberry bark, was used for clothing and blankets in Hawai’i. Maile uses kapa in various ways in her 2019 exhibit at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, here
Moana (Ocean) - 30.4 x 30.4 cm
mokuhanga brushes - come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Smaller brushes (surikomebake) have long handles and are numbered regarding bristle size, and are used for various sizes of colour blocks. Flat back brushes (marubake), are like a shoe brush and are for wider areas for printing. They also come in various numbered sizes. Brushes are traditionally made of horsehair from the horse's tail, although the smaller surikomebake are made of deer hair. You can find mokuhanga brushes most anywhere today such as McClains, Terry McKenna, Michihamono, Jackson’s Art Supplies, and many other places.
sharpening stones - these stones come in a variety of grits, colours, and sizes. Some stones are natural or composite. They vary in price from the ridiculously expensive to the more affordable. Generally, for your mokuhanga you will need a 1000-grit stone to start, and in time you can explore various other methods of sharpening your tools. An excellent video to begin with is Terry McKenna’s video on sharpening here.
Karma & Faith: The Artwork of Karma Phuntok and Faith Stone - is the self published book made for their Denver exhibition in 2019.
Tassajara Zen Center - is a Buddhist monastary and zen center located in San Fransisco. They have published cookbooks since the 1970’s.
Tibet House - is a not-for-profit cultural preservation society to preserve Tibetan culture worldwide. There are many Tibet House offices and buildings around the globe. More information can be found at Tibet House US here.
John Lewis - played a large part in many important events in the civil rights movements of the 1960s in the United States. Was one of the founding members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960-1971. More information about John Lewis and his essential work can be found here at Stanford University: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute.
Kannon - is the deity of compassion in Buddhism.
Kannon Reigen Ki - Ima Kumano Temple from the series The Miracles of Kannon by Utagawa Hiroshige II (1829-1869) 9.6" x 14"
Shoshoni Yoga Retreat - is a yoga retreat in Rollinsville, Colorado. The retreats are much like an ashram experience, with meditation, yoga, meals and selfless service. Find more info here.
* Ikegami, Kojiro, and Barbara B. Stephan. Japanese Book Binding: Instructions from a Master Craftsman. New York etc.: Weatherhill, 1990.
© Popular Wheat Productions
opening and closing musical credit - Dropkick Murphy's, Where Trouble Is At. From the album, This Machine Still Kills Fascists (2021) on Dummy Luck Music.
logo designed and produced by Douglas Batchelor and André Zadorozny
Disclaimer: Please do not reproduce or use anything from this podcast without shooting me an email and getting my express written or verbal consent. I'm friendly :)
If you find any issue with something in the show notes please let me know.
***The opinions expressed by guests in The Unfinished Print podcast are not necessarily those of André Zadorozny and of Popular Wheat Productions.***