3 day Mokuhanga Workshop (Water-based woodblock printmaking) with Lucy May Schofield


Friday 26 April –  Sunday 28  April 2024


During this intensive 3-day workshop you will be introduced to the traditional Japanese art of woodblock printing.

Mokuhanga is perfect for anyone interested in a non-toxic, water-based, table-top printmaking technique. Over the course of two days you will learn the skills to transfer an image to Japanese plywood, carve several colour separation blocks in relief and print on mulberry paper with watercolours, following in the tradition of Japanese Ukiyo-e printmaking.

With no mechanical press required, only a hand held ‘baren’, you will learn the techniques to achieve various print effects, from ‘goma zuri’ (sesame printing) to ‘bokashi’ (gradation printing), while registering your multi-block image through the simple but brilliant traditional ‘kento’ registration system.

You will be sure to fall in love with both the process and results of this intricate, accessible, mediative, water-based printmaking method which provides endless possibilities during your introduction to mokuhanga.

Course structure

On Monday you will be introduced to the tools and process of mokuhanga through demonstrations and examples. You will see a short printing demonstration to see the potential of the medium. You will then carve a very simple 3-colour separation print, transferring your drawing to separate woodblocks. You will be taught to carve carefully with the hangi-to knife and clear your woodblocks in preparation for printing the following day. You will see a paper dampening demonstration ready to prepare your ‘washi’ paper in readiness for printing.

On Tuesday & Wednesday you will be spend time printing using watercolour and ‘nori’ rice glue and spend your time experimenting with producing various print effects on your woodblocks, from flat colour, to sesame printing and colour gradations. You can expect to leave the course with a variety of sample printing techniques and a small selection of A5 multi-block prints on Japanese paper along with the skills and confidence to continue carving and printing at home.

Lucy May Schofield studied Japanese mokuhanga whilst living in Japan for 2 years. She has regularly returned to Japan to exhibit and attend residencies. In 2019 she completed the upper advanced training programme at the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory near Mount Fuji.

Lucy has taught book arts and printmaking for almost 15 years and regularly runs introductory workshops as well as masterclasses. She makes books and prints, exhibiting her work internationally. Her work is held in public and private collections from the Tate to Yale Centre for British Art. She is currently based in rural Northumberland.


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