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Book Review: Japanese WoodBlock Print Workshop


Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop
By April Vollmer

A modern guide to the ancient art of Mokuhanga. An increasingly popular yet age-old art form, japanese woodblock printing (mokuhanga) is embraced for its non-toxic character, use of handmade materials, and easy to integration with other printmaking techniques. In this comprehensive guide, artist and printmaker April Vollmer – one of the best known mokuhanga practitioners and instructors in the West – combines her deep knowledge of this historic printmaking practice with expert step-by-step instruction, guidance on  materials and studio practices, and a diverse collection of prints by leading contemporary artists. At once practical and inspirational, this handbook is as useful to serious printmakers and artists as it is to creative people drawn to Japanese history and aesthetics. 

April Vollmer is a New York artist who studied mokuhaga after receiving her Masters of Fine Arts in printmaking at Hunter College. Her work has been shown widely and she teaches regularly at the Lower East Side Printshop. She had participated in many residencies including the Nagasaki Art Park in Japan; and was on the board of the first and second International Mokuhanga Conference. 

Verdict: When I first saw this book I expected it to be something like Happy Handmade Home By A Beautiful Mess. You know simple ideas for crafts with pictures showing you how it is styled in a room. Boy was I wrong. This Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop is in depth. It goes through the history, talks about traditional tools and customs all while showing beautiful artwork. This is for serious artist, more than enthusiasts, and makes a great reference. I’m extremely impressed with April Vollmer’s work on this. 


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