Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 14, 2012.

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What happens when a centuries old printing technique, meets 21st century artist?

Please keep supporting and share my project!  I've hit my goal, but every $$ is being put into good use for now and the future.  

Please support me in doing something I love!!

Traditionally, Japanese artist, would create a piece of art and hand-off to a group of talented craftsmen (a carver, printer and publisher) to print the work.  The carver, printer and publisher would dictate color schemes and overall the production of the art.But instead of touching so many hands you will first hand get to experience the creative process of Sōsaku-hanga:

  • Sōsaku-hanga - (creative print) is a early-20th century art movement which stressed the artist's motivation for complete self-expression as a sole creator of a work of art.  The movement advocated the principles of "self-drawn" (自画, jiga), "self-carved" (自刻, jikoku) and "self-printed" (自刷, jizuri) art. - Wikipedia

The image I will be carving/printed is part of an image I created in Dec. 2011, called "Fearless Freedom Peace". It depicts being fearless (samurai), having freedom (fish) and being at peace (lotus) called "Fearless Freedom Peace".  It was drawn in pencil and penned using Prismacolor markers.

Fearless Freedom Peace
Fearless Freedom Peace

What will I be carving and printing?

I will be carving and printing the following "Fearless" panel of the "Fearless Freedom Peace" from above.

"Fearless"
"Fearless"

Where each pledge goes?

By Kickstarting this project you will be helping me fund the:

  • Tools (chisels, sharpening stones)
  • Inks and Pigments Dispersions (Bought 10/23)
  • Water Brushes
  • Printing paper (Bought 10/23)
  • Specialized Cherry Planed Woodblocks
  • Miscellaneous (Pastes, Work Aides)
  • Baren (a good one is extremely expensive $500-$1000, handmade in Japan)...maybe someday!

Since resources of traditional Japanese woodblock tools and material originate from Japan, each tool, each piece of paper, each drop of ink is considerably expensive to buy and that is where I need your help!

I've been kickstarted!  But the more money I raise, the easier time I will have continuing creating new Art designs and Japanese Woodblock Prints!!  Please share and support my project!

Documenting the Creative Process

If you are interested in being part of the creative process just click and follow  Facebook, twitter, tumblr and Instagram (@engiNERDart) for the play-by-play.  Hopefully, I get my website up in time (www.engiNERDart.com), if not, it is being put on hold to finish this project.

Lets get it done! (Project Schedule)

  • October 15 - 31, 2012 - Carve Key Block, Print Subsequent Color Outlines for 5 Color Plates.
  • November 1 - 15, 2012 - Carve 5 Color Plates (Red, Brown, Black, Grey, Yellow), Print Proofs of each plates and refine plates prior for Artist Proofs.
  • November 16 - 30, 2012 - Print Artist's Proofs and UNLIMITED edition prints. Begin shipping out awards not requiring hand-printing so that you get them before the Holidays (i.e. X-MAS)
  • December 1 - 15, 2012 - Print LIMITED edition proofs.  Begin collaboration efforts for 5 Special LIMITED edition Collaboration Prints.  Begin shipping all UNLIMITED/LIMITED prints so that you get them before the Holidays (i.e. X-MAS).
  • December 15 - 31, 2012 - Complete Special LIMITED edition Collaboration designs and begin carving new custom plates.
  • Jan 3 - 15, 2013 - Print and ship Special LIMITED edition Collaboration Prints.
  • February 1, 2013 - Start new print project because of KICKSTARTER!!!!

Why should I pledge?

Please help me preserve a centuries old technique that can and will be used by myself in follow-on projects.  I plan to use this as a primary technique of printing my original works of art.  Any funding will help to make possible to create a beautiful piece of art using Japanese tradition method that made art affordable for the masses.

Thank you for reading and supporting the cause of creating "My First Japanese Woodblock Print"!

Check out my art! 

See me at work!

Don't forget the REWARDs at the bottom......

But if you were interested in how this started!

How this idea was KICKSTARTed!

March 2011

The 2011 Tohuku Earthquake in Japan

I was part of a monitoring team from Hawaii.  I practically watched hundreds of hours of news feeds and I came upon a documentary of Japanese woodblock printing by David Bull. He is currently part of another Kickstarter project, Ukiyo-e Hereos with Jed Henry.  I instantly became intrigued in the Ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock) printing techniques and methods.  It was part of my Japanese heritage that I may have a chance to experience and recapture.

May 2011

Bought a set of basic Japanese Chisels while on a trip to San Francisco in Japan-town.  Placed them on a shelf in anticipation of starting a project soon.

November 2011

I began studying drawing/art styles made famous by Japanese Ukiyo-e artists such as Hokusai, Yoshitoshi, Kawase Hasui, Hiroshi and Toshi Yoshida, Kunisada, Hasegawa III, Koson and many more. At the same time, I began creating study and original art pieces.

June 2012

Took my first woodblock printing class. This class was an introductory to the painstaking process of cutting and printing using wood.  Prints were not made in the traditional hand made Japanese woodblock style, but instead using a Intaglio press.

Today

Using a portion of artwork I originally made in Dec 2011, I will begin the process of creating "My First Japanese Woodblock Print". 

And last but not least....the REWARDS!

  • Coozie and Bag Tags
Keep it COOL!
Keep it COOL!
Bag Tag Time!
Bag Tag Time!
  • "Fearless" or "Freedom" Hat in BLACK or RED
"Fearless" Hat in BLACK
"Fearless" Hat in BLACK
"Freedom" Hat in RED
"Freedom" Hat in RED
"Freedom" Hat in BLACK
"Freedom" Hat in BLACK
  • 3-Piece Coaster Set of "Freedom"
"We Three" protect this house!
"We Three" protect this house!
  • "Fearless" or "Freedom"  Wall Art
Whats better the TV or the Wall Art?
Whats better the TV or the Wall Art?
  • UNLIMITED "Fearless" GICLÉE on Canvas (5" x 8") or GICLÉE or Art Print (11"x14")

To be created:

  • LIMITED/UNLIMITED/Artist Proof edition prints
  • Special LIMITED edition Collaboration Print (5 total)

If after completion the LIMITED/UNLIMITED/COLLABORATION prints are not up to the high standards that I hold myself accountable for (i.e. a print that I am willing to sell), I will provide backers of those prints the option of substituting prints, with

1) LIMITED edition Canvas Print (22 in. x 28 in.) (stretched on frame) of "Fearless Freedom Peace" (Hand-signed/Individually Numbered)

OR

2) LIMITED edition Art Print (11 in. x 14 in.) on High Quality Art Paper of "Fearless Freedom Peace" (Hand-signed/Individually Numbered)

OR

3) Any combination of rewards of (equal to but not exceed) equal to the pledged value.

OR

4) Receive originally promised LIMITED/UNLIMITED edition hand-printed "Fearless" print in its final/complete form.  (No substitutions once this choice is chosen).

OR 

5) Your money back if you want it.

MAHALO,

Chad Watanabe

Thank the following people for helping to "Kickstart" this project: Jason Kagimoto (Maka Studios) and Jesse Elliot (How Tall R U Studios) for the awesome video, Tai Blechta (hybriddesignhi.com) for creating sweet rewards, Kenny Kaono for web development.  Special thanks to my family and friends for all the support!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Risks and Challenges

1) Registration (alignment of one print plate to another)

Registration will be a challenge because of how well and accurately carve the registration marks (kento) based upon initial outline prints from the key block (outline print). I will be creating at minimum 6 plates (outline, red, brown, yellow, grey, black). Each plate must align perfectly to assure the print is printed correctly

I will be making sure that the kento marks are cut as accurately as possible or I may buy registration aids, which will help me create registration with having to cut registration marks.

2) Print colors do not exactly match the original art.

I will be mixing colors based upon prime colors (red, yellow, blue) and buying some specific colors (brown and black) to as closely match the art.

I will be experimenting with the exact mix of colors and measuring/documenting the quantity of pigment I require to achieve a color match.

3) Printing

Printing can be effected by many things, but I am most concerned about the swelling/shrinking of the wood as I print do to environmental conditions such as humidity. I am also concerned that if I cut some fine lines incorrectly that the pressure used from the baren and rubbing could damage some of the blocks after repeated printings

I will be diligent in making cuts so that they bevel outwards from the line edge and not into the line (making it weak). I also plan to print lots all at once with little break so that I have the same environmental conditions. If the quality starts to drop off, I will stop and assess if I require to adjust printing methods.

4) If I'm overly successful in obtaining pledges for the LIMITED/UNLIMITED prints (THANK YOU if this happens!!!!!)

The more I get the more I must print. Not that its a bad thing, but I may be slowed down by the shear amount of prints that I must create. The lot size may delay some delivery of product.

I will be working as quick as I can, without sacrificing quality to create the prints. Please bear with me if it takes longer than I expect! I will keep you updated along the way!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    2 backers

    One Coozie and One Baggage Tag - Choose the designs you want! Have a cold one and travel in style....what a combination! Shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    GICLÉE of "Fearless", 5 in. x 8 in. (mounted) - Hang it on the wall, marvel at it forever. Shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $30 or more
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    5 backers

    One "Fearless" or "Freedom" Hat in BLACK or RED - you pick the design and color and we place it on a hat. Help you stay out of the sun! Shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $50 or more
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    17 backers

    One 3-piece tile coaster set and 2 Coozies - A set of 3 coasters of the "Freedom" Koi (Fish) + 2 Coozies of your choice. Get one for yourself or others! Shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $75 or more
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    3 backers

    UNLIMITED GICLÉE or Art print - Digital giclée of "Fearless, Freedom and Peace" 11"x14" print on framed canvas or Art print on high-quality paper! Shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $100 or more
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    2 backers

    UNLIMITED edition "Fearless" woodblock print (hand-printed/signed). Own a piece of "My First Japanese Woodblock Print". I guarantee the best print that I can physically produce! Shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $150 or more
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    1 backer

    LIMITED edition "Fearless" woodblock print (hand-printed/signed & individually numbered). The edition will be as large as the amount of pledges for this reward. Own a LIMITED piece of "My First Japanese Woodblock Print". I guarantee the best print that I can physically produce! Shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $200 or more
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    0 backers

    "Fearless" or "Freedom" Removable Wall Art (~3 ft x 5 1/2 ft.) -- Have the coolest piece of art above your couch! Your friends will be envious! Shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $250 or more
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    0 backers

    Set of Artist's Proofs (each individual plate) and LIMITED edition "Fearless" print - Own pieces of how the print came together, from start to finish! Shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    One Special "Fearless" Collaboration Limited Edition Print - A chance to own a "one-of-a-kind" collaborated design of the pattern to be placed on the Kabuki mask face of "Fearless". We'll have to "talk about it"! Shipping included. Shipping included..

    Estimated delivery:
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Funding period

- (30 days)