Trip to Japan – Maruni Karakami Wood Block Printing

Printer at work - reducedThe variety of studios that we got to visit while in Japan was amazing. One place we visited was Maruni Karakami, which was a combination of a studio and retail store. They make wood block designs on washi paper (karakami) and then glue the paper onto sliding door panels. They have been in business for over 100 years. We watched one of their craftsman print a wood block design onto a piece of paper that was over 8 feet long. The wood blocks were much smaller (about 12” x 18”), so he had to align the paper to ensure that the repeats align perfectly. It was impressive to watch him work on this large sheet of paper. He was fast and accurate. This photo shows him applying the paint to the wood block prior to draping the paper over the wood block. Afterwards, the paper is glued to the sliding door panels, using glue that is made from funatori seaweed. Wood Block Print - reduced

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