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Ukiyo-e Heroes carves out the fantastic from wood

The fine art of the woodblock print will never die! Artists like Jed Henry and David Bull will make sure of that. We stumbled on this excellent series of prints by the team at Ukiyo-e Heroes and immediately fell for their traditional-style portrayal of modern heroes.


Yes, those the Turtles, my friends!

The attention to detail is astonishing. The two-man team clearly have an eye for crafting the best prints possible. Look at this one!


Then, with detail.

Fox Moon detail


From the artists’ site (because they do a lovely job of explaining their process!)

This fine woodblock print was lovingly designed by Jed Henry, and hand-carved and printed in David Bull’s Tokyo Workshop. The materials and techniques used are authentic to those employed centuries ago in old Edo.

This particular design requires over 17 individual impressions to achieve a full range of color. David uses the finest quality of yamazakura (mountain cherry) to carve his printing blocks. The wood is capable of holding a very fine level of delicacy – every last detail is printed by the wood left standing, after the rest has been cut away.

The paper is handmade Echizen Hosho Washi, made by national living treasure, Iwano Ichibei IX. This is the exact same paper printers used over 200 years ago! You can see a video of Mr. Iwano at work here.

The left cartouche means “Fur and claw, steel and flame”, and the right cartouche literally means “star” and “fox”.

This print is the traditional koban format – 7 x 9 inches (17.5 x 23 cm).

Just how nerdy does their work get? We’ll leave you with this:

Pocketing a Wager

-Ben Zackheim

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