c1956 – PROCESS OF PRINTING WOOD ENGRAVING – UTAMARO (1753-1806) One of “TWELVE SKETCHES OF HANDICRAFT ARTS FOR WOMEN”
Hardcover, paper covered boards, measuring about 6⅞ × 9¾. Opens with accordion-fold, 22 pages. Colors a tad off on front cover above – discoloration not as pronounced in “real life.” Label on rear page “Red Lantern Shop – Dealer in Japanese Woodcut Colour Prints – Kyoto.” Published to display of the art of Japanese color woodblock printing, and how they are done in a progressive series of fold-out pages (on one continuous sheet) showing the steps, starting first with the black outline block. Each of the 9 colors (ochre, grays, peach, reds, blues, and black) is added one at a time. A double spread shows the print with a single color facing the resulting cumulative state of the color woodblock print. The finished plate is last—Utamaro’s “One of Twelve Sketches of Handicraft Arts for Women,” which shows two women cooking, one cutting with a knife.
“The pages to the left are numbered and explain and illustrate the individual steps (woodblock impressions) as the print moves to completion. The first page after the title page describes the illustration and starts the process with the “Out Line Printing.” The page to the right contains the black and white key block. After the key block, the left page has the next woodblock impression applied and the page to the right shows the cumulative state of the print. The woodblock progresses from the outline/key block through the application of 9 additional woodblock impressions. In total the book is created by using 10 woodblocks (key block and 9 additional blocks).” — description from a site on-line. This copy does not include the four page insert. In my research I have found only one copy ever offered for sale.
here is the beginning showing the blank black and white outline
on the left side of each progression of the process is shown the areas of color to be printed on the B&W outline on the right – and then showing the progressive color printings
below showing how this piece opens out
and the final completed printed woodcut engraving