Earlier this year, for three weeks in March 2019, I lived in a small town on the Eastern coast of Iceland called Seyðisfjörður to participate in an artist residency at Skaftfell Centre for Visual Art. The Printing Matter Residency was an opportunity to work alongside international and local artists to create works on paper, ultimately culminating in artist books and a group exhibition in the local Technical Museum.
This was the first image I printed during the residency. What I consider to be a ‘pure’ litho: just straight crayon drawing. This is one tier of the majestic Hengifoss waterfall that I hiked to with another resident on my first day in Iceland. I think it ended up looking like an illustration that might be found in a book of Nordic fairy tales…
In preparation for our wedding at the end of September 2018, I created a new series of seven bear prints. Each table was marked by a different type of bear, and guests were given a print as a symbol of gratitude for celebrating our special day with us. Bears are a symbol of both of our birthplaces, Canada and Hokkaido, Japan.
American Black Bear. Photography by Vai Yu Law.
What the Fukunishi!?
A couple months ago, local gallery and printshop Graven Feather put out a call for submissions for the wonderfully titled “What the Fukunishi!?” show, where participants were invited to use fukunishi washi however they’d like, to create works to exhibit in a group show.
This paper comes in 3 colours: Nemu (yellow), Sakura (pink), Akebi (grey). I was able to integrate every colour into each of my two pieces, Hira Hira and Pika Pika. My pieces were made by combining fukunishi printed with two colour layers of pink litho ink, with bare fukunishi sheets and some tengu-jo. I used some metallic pigment on the printed sheets which I purchased at PIGMENT in Tokyo. I added some origami pleated to show the reflective qualities of the pigment and try to add more dimension to the papers. I aimed to create pieces that recall noren or washi curtains.
Like most of the washi I print on, I was introduced to this paper at The Japanese Paper Place. There I learned that it’s a paper that is specifically made for lithography, as requested by David Lynch. The fibres are from the Phillipines, and somehow it feels like they aren’t as long as traditional washi long fibres. After printing my smaller mikan prints on K-Salago, I decided to commit to this as my paper of choice for 4 larger colour lithos I would make for my prints about my beloved Shikoku.
The paper is incredibly smooth, with beautiful deckle edges. It picks up detail very well from litho stones, and I really love the warmth of the colour. The only issue I had with it was that it really doesn’t take water well. If it gets wet, it can immediately start to pill. I made sure my stones were inked up yet totally dry before printing.
Began incorporating chine colle techniques into my lithographs a couple years ago. I've tried adhering tengu-jo tissues to prints using an etching press, by hand, then using a lithograph press. It's been a bit tricky getting the yamato nori paste consistency correct, but I've really enjoyed the results. These are some leafy shapes that were added to my Gaku Ajisai (hydrangea) prints last year.