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The Magic of Mokuhanga

by Helen Rindsberg


Japanese Woodblock , April Vollmer , Cincinnati Asian Art Society

Artist April Vollmer will help the Cincinnati Art Museum celebrate its outstanding Japanese woodblock print collection at a special event from the Cincinnati Asian Art Society on Sunday, March 31.

In her illustrated presentation on mokuhanga, the traditional Japanese woodcut process, Vollmer will explain the techniques and tools that have made Japanese ukiyo-e and contemporary print artists world famous. Mokuhanga employs water-based colors, a hand-held disk baren printing tool, and the accurate kento registration system, cut directly in the block.  Modern print artists have become very interested in mokuhanga because it doesn’t use toxic chemicals or a large press.  Vollmer is the author of Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop.

“I’m an artist and a printmaker who traveled to Japan to learn Japanese woodcut. The experience gave me an appreciation not only for this sophisticated way of working, but for Japanese culture as a whole; It turned out to be life changing, resulting in many friendships, opportunities, and a book with a major publisher,” said Vollmer.

The free program sponsored by the Cincinnati Asian Art Society will be held on March 31 at 2 p.m. in the Fifth Third Lecture Hall.  A reception follows at 3 p.m. 


Images provided:

Portrait of April Vollmer

Vollmer, April, Delirious Birds and Bees, mokuhanga print, 2007

Hiroshige, Utagawa, Kameido Tenjin Shrine from One Hundred Views of Edo, Japan, 1856, 1906.372


Helen Rindsberg is President of the Cincinnati Asian Art Society and a CAM docent since 2004.  She’s been a teacher and administrator in Cincinnati since 1972.  She’s studied Japanese art and culture since she took art lessons at CAM in 1958.