Eva Pietzcker
Druckstelle, Werkstatt für kuenstlerische Drucktechniken
Manteuffelstr. 103, 10997 Berlin

Haruka Furusaka
14-8, Seimei-dori,, Abeno-ku, Osaka,, 545-0032, Japan
tel/fax: +81 (0)6 6661 8817

Technical Demonstration: "Japanese Woodblock Printmaking with Water-Based Inks"

The traditional technique of Japanese woodblock printmaking is mainly associated with the classical ukiyo-e prints created during the Edo period. Less well known is the fact that this technique can nowadays be used to create contemporary prints.

The Japanese technique, which is based on the use of water-based inks and the process of hand printing with the baren, clearly differs from the Western technique of relief printing using oil-based inks and a press. During the print process, the inks are pressed deeply into the Japanese handmade paper, thus creating an impression similar to that of a watercolour. This technique offers a wide range of cutting and printing effects and has the advantage of requiring only natural non-toxic materials and very little space.

In this demonstration, two printmakers, Haruka Furusaka from Japan and Eva Pietzcker from Germany, will each produce a contemporary woodblock print using this traditional technique, representing two different approaches. Each artist will make a multi-plate print, demonstrating the various printing effects that result from the ratio between water-based inks and printing paste, the application of the inks with the brushes, the Japanese kento registration system and hand-printing with the barren.

HARUKA FURUSAKA is an independent artist working in watercolor, woodblock printmaking and painting. She lives in Osaka, Japan. She received a BFA in oil painting from Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan. On the island of Awaji she was an assistant to the director of Nagasawa Art Park Pilot Program, The Program is a workshop/residency on watercolor woodblock printmaking. She learned the technique of watercolor woodblock printmaking from several printmakers. Furusaka stayed at the residence Ateljé Stundars maintained by the Council of Swedish Education and Culture in Ostrobothnia, Finland. During the residency with woodblock prints, she made abstract images inspired by the different environment. The work was shown at Vaasa City Library, Vaasa, Finland. One of the prints is held in the collection of the Council. In 2004 Furusaka was invited to the United States. She taught workshops in printmaking classes at 5 Colleges and Universities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Brunswick, New Jersey. Furusaka participated in the 2004 Southern Graphics Council Conference at Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper. At the Conference she demonstrated watercolor woodblock printmaking. She has had solo and group exhibitions in Tokyo and Osaka. Currently Furusaka works in her studio in Osaka. She researches Japanese natural materials for printing and painting.

EVA PIETZCKER is an independent artist living in Berlin. She studied fine arts at the Academy of Art in Nuremberg. In 2001 she established the printmaking studio “druckstelle” with her partner Miriam Zegrer for the purpose of research into and teaching courses on printmaking techniques, with the aim of not using toxic materials as much as possible. Since then she has been teaching printmaking in her studio and at several art academies in Germany. In 2003, she traveled to China to research traditional Chinese woodblocks, and, in the same year, participated in the Nagasawa Art Park Program in Japan, where she studied Japanese woodblock printmaking. In 2004, she trained in Japanese papermaking as artist-in-residence of Tsuna-town, Japan. For more, see her web sites at: and