mokuhanga print

I completed one large-ish print while I was on the mokuhanga residency in Japan: one that features plants in a garden. I was inspired by the abundant greenery all around the house, and in the surrounding gardens.I did some initial pencil sketches and arranged them in a wide landscape.Then did a painted version to work out solid areas of colour.I then started carving a long block of shina wood. And then carved, and carved some more…When the block was fully carved, I set up, ready to print.It’s the largest mokuhanga print I’ve ever made, and was extremely challenging. But I learnt alot, and really pushed myself. I had only meant to do a pink and green version, but felt that blues might work too. I’m now fond of them both!I intend to take the print further, and create an artists book out of it. It’ll be shown in Hawaii in a few month’s time, and I’ll blog again when it’s all done…

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tokyo

This week I spent a few days in Tokyo, visiting friends, art stores and exhibitions. First stop the Ota Museum in Harajuku, to a ukiyoe exhibition of Edo from the water, and then the Nezu Museum, to a ceramics one. Both were wonderful, and highly recommended!Then on to Pigment, a store with paints and paraphanelia, and more brushes than I’ve ever seen in my life. So. Many. Brushes. And all of them gorgeous.I love the city, well, cities generally, but in particular Tokyo, and I find the everyday urban views beautiful. Even just the railways at dusk, walking home after an exhausting day.Can’t wait to visit again soon!

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mokuhanga peony

This week I’ve been busy carving and printing, and trying out all sorts of new things. Here’s a picture of my little peony print with some experimental paper cutting…

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Kawaguchiko

This weekend I did a little sightseeing around where I’m staying, in Kawaguchiko, Japan. There are a series of caves you can visit at the foot of Mt Fuji, formed from lava from the last eruption. The Narusawa Ice Cave is one of them, and is a National Monument. And also a little bit scary to get through due to the extremely low ceilings. The entrance is fascinating, as you go down under the floor of the forest, and suddenly it’s literally ice cold, like you’ve walked into a fridge. The haze you can see in the photo is the air condensating between hot + humid and freezing!

A walk in the sea of trees, along lava strewn paths, was also truly beautiful: it had my favourite combo of moss and ferns.I visited a site called Saiko Iyashi no sato NENBA, a recreation of a thatched village that was destroyed by a typhoon in the 60s. Each lovely building had examples of local crafts.And of course, a visit to the opposite side of Lake Kawaguchiko, to get a magnificent view of the sacred mountain, looking just like a Hokusai print.

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mokuhanga peony

This week I carved a small block from cherrywood (my first) to do some paper-testing. I printed two versions of my peony design onto many different types of washi paper to decide what sort I would use for my big project.

I’m hoping to do some bokashi printing, and wanted a paper that would show the gentle gradations well, as well as printing black sumi ink sharply.

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mi-lab

I’m in Kawaguchiko, Japan, for the next few weeks, on a mokuhanga (Japanese woodblock) printmaking artists residency with mi-lab. It’s in a beautiful location in a small town on the edge of the lake at the foot of Mt Fuji. I’m working on a series of prints, but in the meantime, here are some little sketches of the famous mountain.The views all around are beautiful, surrounded by mountains, wildflower meadows, and small farm plots,

but it’s Mt Fuji that dominates the landscape, whenever it appears from behind the clouds…

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HK/Japan

This week my mokuhanga artists residency starts in rural Japan. On my way here I spent a day in Hong Kong……a few days in Tokyo……and am now here, through the mountains…..at the foot of Mt Fuji. I’m looking forward to spending some time in one place, making prints.

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toile ceramics online

My toile ceramics are now available to buy online! You can purchase them from faux in Hong Kong here, and they can deliver internationally.

You can buy both the HK toile collection…

and the London toile collection…Happy shopping!

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London wedding

My brother-in-law got married this weekend in London, and it was a beautiful day.I sketched as much as I could, and loved seeing how my designs were used on the day.

For Luke & Amy’s wedding stationery, I started with an illustration of the happy couple on a London bus, with pink flowers in the background, which was used for the Save the Dates. I started them off in casual clothes, and added a simple hand-drawn pink border around the card.I developed this motif and drew a more detailed background for the formal invitation, including important places from their life together and secret elements from the wedding reception, like the ice-cream cart, the bowling pin and neon arrow, to hint at what would be in store on the day. I also put them in more traditional wedding attire.For the welcome reception, before the wedding, I created a simpler version of the illustration, with a celebratory bottle of champagne…

….and then for all of the other stationery, another version with just a few of the details from the full invitation illustration.It was used on the menu

for the wedding lunch, which was delicious, and the table where I sat was full of interesting and beautiful people to draw.There was dancing and cocktails…and an awesome sweet bar: check out the sweet bags! I hadn’t seen this, but the bride was given a special dressing gown with the illustration embroidered onto the back. Isn’t it amazing!I also made a square-bordered version of the illustration (with an added heart detail) to have printed onto a pillow for the bride and groom as a gift.I have more drawings of the day, but this is my favourite of the bride, my new sister-in-law. Welcome to the family!

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London week three

This week, I visited more museums, and happily spent time sketching. These were both taken in the V & A my most very favourite museum in the world.And then at the weekend, a visit to the Cotswolds. We stayed in an adorable house in the tiny village of Lower Slaughter, and spent time chatting and walking in the countryside. We stayed right by this lovely watermill, and I took an early morning walk one day…We went to the farmers market in Chipping Norton……where I managed to do a few watercolours, in spite of the drizzle.This is a little sketch of the house where we stayed. I loved sitting in the tiny garden courtyard…And then it was back to the city for my last week, and no visit to London would be complete without a cake and cup of tea at Maison Bertaux.

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