We interviewed one of our Art & Design Lecturers Gwyl Lewis about a recent Moku Hanga (Japanese woodcut) day workshop he ran a Truro College.
I: What is Moku Hanga?
G: Simply it is the Japanese form of woodcut, though we do look at other water based woodcut traditions, but the Japanese have developed this form to highly sophisticated art form.
I: How Does it differ from western woodcut?
G: Its main difference is the printing with water based inks as opposed to oil based inks, which makes it a safer way of printing, so good for health and safety and ecologically sound.
I: Does Moku Hanga have any other special attributes?
G: Yes the Japanese didn’t use Printing presses, so printed by hand, which makes it ideal for the amateur artist, with very little outlay on equipment.
I: How did you start doing this form of printmaking?
G: I Had several Japanese tutors over the years , but I suppose being a student of Rebecca Salter Britain’s leading expert on Moku Hanga (she has publish several books on subject) while I was studying for my Printmaking M.A. Also my own researches, I have been running workshops in Moku Hanga since the late 1990s in Art schools and other venues.
I: Do you have to have to be artistically knowledgeable to do your day workshop?
G: Not at all. A willingness to learn something new, one of the good aspects of printmaking, is that it is a process based art form, while people are concentrating on the process they forget erroneous notions that they can’t draw etc, and in fact they are always surprised by the outcome when they peel back the paper there is a good print design it’s a kind of magic one never gets tired of. I run the course so beginners, and persons with some printmaking knowledge, will all gain from the workshop.
I: This sounds exciting are you going to be running another workshop in the near future?
G: Yes, on Saturday 10th February.
I: How would you join in?
G: If you contact Part-time courses at Truro College on 01872 265800, they will give you some information on enrolling.
I: Do you run any other printmaking courses ?
G: Yes, I run two adult education evening courses. One on introductory printmaking course, and printmaking master class starting very soon. Also a one day wood engraving course later in the term, all of which Part -time courses have more info on.
I: Gwyl, many thanks.