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The Unfinished Print


Jul 28, 2023

Creating mokuhanga can be a long journey. One reaches milestones within their artistic life where decisions are made, and questions asked. Can I do this for years to come? Does it make financial sense to continue working on making prints? Do I want to make this my career? Can mokuhanga sustain me financially, emotionally, and spiritually? 

On this episode of the Unfinished Print, I speak with mokuhanga printmaker Stephen Winiecki, an artist who has explored mokuhanga through his experience in oil painting and linocut. Stephen is asking himself many questions like the ones mentioned above. We discuss Stephen’s choosing to make mokuhanga a large part of his life and the desire to make it his career path. We talk process, his work with mokuhanga print designer and artist Jed Henry, planning a print, and how his passion for rock climbing motivates his work. 

Please follow The Unfinished Print and my own mokuhanga work on Instagram @andrezadoroznyprints or email me at theunfinishedprint@gmail.com 

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. Dimensions are given if known.

Stephen Winiecki - website, Instagram

linocut -A linocut is a relief or block print type, similar to woodblock printing. The artist carves an image into a linoleum block, printing what's left. 

David Bull - is a Canadian woodblock printmaker, and educator who lives and works in Japan. His love of mokuhanga has almost singlehandedly promoted the art form around the world. His company, Mokuhankan, has a brick and mortar store in Asakusa, Tōkyō, and online, here

Dave Bull fox moon video 

Awagami -  is arguably the largest paper making company in Japan at the moment. With a large International name, Awagami sponsors, and promotes its paper all over the world. More information can be found on its website, here

reduction printmaking - is a process in printmaking where the printmaker cuts away on a piece of wood, or linoleum. After every carving, the printmaker makes an impression with pigments, beginning with lighter colours, gradually using darker colours. William H. Mays has a fine description of reduction on his website, here

registration - there are several registration methods in mokuhanga. The traditional method is called the kentō registration, where you carve two notches, straight another an "L." There is also a "floating kentō," which is where the notches are cut in a piece of "L" shaped wood and not on the wood where you are cutting your image, hence "floating." Lastly, there are removable "pins," such as ones made by Ternes Burton

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 found here. The Unfinished Print interview with Daniel Jasa of McClain's can be found here.

Jed Henry - is an American artist and graphic designer. His work with woodblock prints is as designer. He works with Mokuhankan, as well as various other mokuhanga artists who carve/laser, and print his designs. His work under the Ukiyo-e Heroes banner is very popular. 

monotype print - is a unique print created from an image painted or drawn on a smooth surface, such as glass or metal, and then transferred to paper. Unlike most printmaking methods, where multiple copies of the same image can be produced, a monotype typically has a single, one-of-a-kind image. It's called a "mono" type because it is not part of an edition like traditional prints (e.g., lithographs, etchings), where you can make multiple copies. 

Dick Blick Art Supplies - is an art supply store with various brick and mortar stores throughout the United States, as well as online. Founded in 1911 by Dick Blick in Galesburg, Illinois, BLICK, as it’s more commonly known, sells various types of art supplies, much like Jerry’s Artarama. More info, here.

Cameron Bailey - is a mokuhanga woodblock printmaker based in Queens, New York. His work is predominantly reduction woodblock. Camerons work has shown around the world. You can listen to one of his earliest interview on The Unfinished Print, here. His work can be found, here

Eruption, After D’Anna (2022) 17x23"

Lake George, New York - Is a small town located in the Adirondack mountains in New York State. There are plenty of exciting things to do in an around the town and within the Adirondack mountains. More information can be found here

Echizen - is a region in Fukui Prefecture, Japan associated with Japanese paper making. It has a long history of paper making. There are many paper artisans in the area. One famous person is Iwano Ichibei whom Megan mentions in this episode. He is a Living National Treasure in paper making, and the ninth generation of his family still making paper today. More info can be found here in English, and here in Japanese

Kawase Hasui (1883-1957) - a designer of more than six hundred woodblock prints, Kawase Hasui, is one of the most famous designers of the shin-hanga movement of the early twentieth century. Hasui began his career with the artist and woodblock designer Kaburaki Kiyokata (1878-1971), joining several artistic societies early in his career. It wasn’t until he joined the Watanabe atelier in 1918 that he began to gain recognition. Watanabe Shōzaburō (1885-1962) had Hasui design landscapes of the Japanese countryside, small towns, and everyday life. Hasui also worked closely with the carvers and printers of his prints to reach the level Hasui wanted his prints to be. 

Yumoto Spa, Nikko (1937) 15x10"

shin hanga - is a style of Japanese woodblock printmaking which began during the end of the ukiyo-e period of Japanese printmaking, in the early 20th Century. Focusing on the foreign demand for “traditional” Japanese imagery and motifs such as castles, bridges, famous landscapes, bamboo forests, to name just a few.  Shin hanga was born in 1915 by Watanabe Shōzaburō (1885-1962) when he found Austrian artist Frtiz Capelari (1884-1950) and commissioned Capelari to design some prints for Watanabe's feldgling printing house . From there shin-hanga evolved into its own distinct “new” style of Japanese woodblock printing. It lasted as this distinct style until its innevitable decline after the Second World War (1939-1945).

Dahlia (1940) 10.5x15.7" by Kawase Hasui

Seki Kenji - is a woodblock printmaker based in Tōkyō. He was head printer, and produced prints, for Doi Hangaten printing house as well as making his own pieces. 

woodblock.com - is one of the first websites created by David Bull in order to describe the process of Japanese woodblock printmaking in English. It was and is an asset for those of us continuing the art form today. 

Studio MDHR - is an independent video game developer based in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. They created the Cuphead character, which Stephen made a print on. 

Cuphead Skullman 8x15"

Cal Carlisle -  an American printmaker based in Cleveland, Ohio, who has sold his original prints and worked for print designer Jed Henry. He was also my first interview on The Unfinished Print, found here. You can find more information about Cal's work, here

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opening and closing musical credit - No Woman, No Cry by The Fugees from their 1996 album The Score. Released by Columbia Records. 

logo designed and produced by Douglas Batchelor and André Zadorozny 

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***The opinions expressed by guests in The Unfinished Print podcast are not necessarily those of André Zadorozny and of Popular Wheat Productions.***