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The Unfinished Print

Nov 11, 2021

The work of Mara Cozzolino is nuanced and powerful. Her works of nature take the viewer to a wonderful place, of loss and of love. In Part 2 of my interview with printmaker Mara Cozzolino we speak about her mokuhanga method, the unique tools she uses when making large prints, her “cloud” lockdown project and I find out what shallow carving means. If you haven’t heard Part 1 of my interview with Mara, you can find that, here.

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Mara Cozzolino’s website.

sizing paper - at times mokuhanga printmakers will size their paper. Size is made from water, animal glue (rabbit, horse), and alum. What the size does is keep the pigments the artist uses from “bleeding” into the outer edges of the paper. There are many recipes of size, here is one that artist Walter J. Phillips used.

Mara’s workshop

Panel Prints - there are many different types of ways to make prints, and Mara uses different panels to make larger images. In ukiyo-e, shin hanga, and sōsaku hanga, diptychs and triptychs were ubiquitous . Modern printmakers like Mara, use many panels sometime up to ten. Here is a list of panel prints you may encounter: single panel, diptych, triptych, tetraptych, pentaptych, hexaptych, heptaptych, octaptych, enneaptych, and decaptych.

brush pens - these are pens, usually refillable, which mimic the use of brushes, calligraphic or otherwise. Some bigger brands are Pentel, Ecoline, and Tombow.

hanashita - or “preparatory drawing” this is generally the first image pasted on your woodblock, with glue. Some artists use gampi paper pasted to copy paper, some use other lighter natural papers. This paper holds the outline of your key block in order to make the necessary copies for colour blocks. Here is a a step by step way of pasting from David Bull and

Paul Binnie - is a Scottish born artist and woodblock printmaker based in San Diego. His work has touched on the male and female form, kabuki theatre, Japanese history and tattoos. A collector of his works has created a website on his work and can be found here. His work is also represented by Scholten Japanese Art based in NYC. His Instagram page can be found, here

Winsor & Newton - is a UK based fine art’s manufacturing company. They sell all types of artist supplies including pigments. Their pigment page can be found, here.

Holbein - is a manufacturer of artists materials based in North America and Japan. Their pigments are rich and vibrant and are used by many mokuhanga artists. Their website can be found, here.

sumi - is a rich black stick, or liquid used by artists, calligraphers, and traditional Japanese horimono tattoo artists.  It is made from the soot of burnt lamp oil. Used in key blocks predominantly in traditional mokuhanga, it can also be used to mix pigments. Pigment Tōkyō conducts a great interview with their chief of pigments, Kei Iwaizumi, about sumi ink, here.

aizuri-e - popular in the Edo period (1605-1867), these are prints made with various shades of blue, like Prussian blue. Artelino makes a great introduction video to a aizuri-e, here.

mawata paper - from Woodlike Matsumura in Tōkyō can be found, here to purchase. As for the dates Mara speaks about, papers are made in different years and at times depending on various factors the paper may be made either in a superior quality or a poorer quality depending on your needs.

yuki baren - is a ball bearing baren made in Japan used for large colour. It is a heavy baren but very very good at what it does. Richard Steiner, printmaker based in Japan, uses and promotes the yuki baren exclusively. More info can be found here on his website. My interview with Richard Steiner can be found, here

Roslyn Kean - is an Australian printmaker who makes her own 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 because they’re made of high-grade plastic. For more information about Roslyn, her work, and baren can be found, here.

Annie Bissett - is an amazing American woodblock print artist. Her blog woodblockdreams can be found, here. My interview with Annie can be found, here. Her Instagram page can be found, here

Lockdown Project 2020 - Mara discusses with me about her lockdown project from 2020, where she drew clouds she saw outside of her window. These can be found, here on her big cartel.

reduction printmaking - is where an artist takes their block and reduces the wood by carving away whatever is unnecessary for the final piece, printing each reduction until one has the piece they’re looking for. Cameron Bailey does a fantastic job of reduction printmaking. His website can be found, here and my interview with Cam can be found, here. His Instagram can be found, here

aisuki - is a flat, fan beveled chisel for mokuhanga and comes in different sizes.

itabokashi - is a type of bokashi in woodblock printmaking where the printmaker carves the block slightly larger than needed and then shaves away the edges. This makes a slight gradation, which is softer than the main colour of the block. Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950) sometimes used sandpaper. 

opening and closing credit background music:  unknown (2021)

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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 in The Unfinished Print podcast are not necessarily those of Andre Zadorozny and of Popular Wheat Productions.