Having made an accurately sized drawing , this was traced and different colours used for what would be different blocks/ colour separations.
Then reversing it, these 4 different element were traced onto the plywood using carbon paper, paying attention to the direction of the grain.
The plywood had already been accurately marked out with the area for the image, surrounded on 2 sides with a 1cm gutter and 1cm registration for the paper ( the paper will overhang the edge when printing, a cunning way of getting the most out of the block)
Then cutting! We used a non-slip mat rather than a bench-hook, much more maneuverable , especially as we had to continually move the block around to ensure cutting away from you. I was first to have a go with the Ken-toh chisel to make registration marks on the corner and along the longest side, watched by the class demonstrating how not to do it! My 4th one wasn't too bad.
A set of tools were issued once we'd demonstrated that we could use them. And then the lesson was over and our homework is to do all the cutting on our blocks for printing on Friday ( this is usually a 8 week rather than 2 day course! )
Hokusai exhibition at the British Museum so I didn't get a chance to do any cutting until Wednesday and Thursday. My orders of 'Powergrip' tools and Japanese Woodblock book had arrived in the post , it was good to have photos and instructions on the very particular ways the different tools are used , a reminder of what Carol had demonstrated.
So here are my finished blocks ready for printing tomorrow . I love the nuanced effects of the watercolour used and that it can be done at home without a press, something I've struggled with when lino printing.
I think my dad would have been proud of me - he was very keen on working with wood coming from a long line of wood carvers from coopers in the 1700's to my grandfather who was a pattern maker on the Glasgow shipyards before becoming a gardener.
30 years of wielding a scalpel probably helped too!