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F. Morley Fletcher

With practice the knife soon becomes an easy and a very precise tool, capable of great expressiveness in drawing. Bear in mind that both sides of a line are drawn by the knife. The special power of developing the expressive form of line on both sides is a resource tending to great development of drawing in designs for wood-block prints. The line may be of varying form, changing from silhouette to pure line as may best serve to express the design. It should never be a mere diagram.

As made by the Japanese, the baren is about five inches in diameter, and consists of a circular board upon which a flat coil of cord or twisted fibre is laid. This is held in place by a covering made of a strip of bamboo-sheath, the two ends of which are twisted and brought together at the back of the board so as to form a handle. The flat surface of the bamboo-sheath is on the under side of the pad when the handle is uppermost.

Damp the new leaf in water with a brush on both sides thoroughly.

Wipe dry both sides. Lay it on a flat surface and stretch wider with the fingers on the inside, keeping the leaf flat with the palm of the hand.

Rub the inside of the leaf with something hard and smooth across the width on both sides.

1. Cut AG, BG with leaf folded.

2. Place the round pad in position on the flat leaf.

3. Stretch the leaf to lap at sides EF.

4. Turn in EA and BF fold by fold, first one side and then the other.

"Tools and Materials illustrating the Japanese Method of Colour Printing." A descriptive catalogue of a collection exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Price Twopence. Victoria and Albert Museum Catalogues. 1913.

"The Colour Prints of Japan." By Edward F. Strange. The Langham Series of Art Monographs. London.

"Japanese Colour Prints." By Edward F. Strange. (3rd Edition.) Victoria and Albert Museum Handbooks. London.

"Japanese Wood Engravings." By William Anderson, F. R. C. S. London, Seeley & Co., Ltd. New York, Macmillan & Co. 1895.

When this is done all the sheets will have received a single impression, which may be either a patch of colour or an impression in line of part of the design of the print. The block A is then removed, cleaned, and put away; and the block for the second impression put in its place.

It is usual to print the line or key-block of a design first, as one is then able to detect faulty registering or imperfect fitting of the blocks and to correct them at once. But there are cases in which a gradated tone, such as a sky, may need to be printed before the line block.

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