As a collector of Japanese Woodblock Prints I also have an interest in how they are made and recently I’ve been following the activities of David Bull a woodblock printmaker living in Tokyo. His website and blog contain a large number of interesting articles on woodblock print making and related topics and I highly recommend you take some time to look at his site.
The site is pretty large so here are some links to parts of the site I’ve enjoyed reading and found to be educational.
To see examples of the print making process visit River in Summer to see a slideshow demonstrating the printing process for the River in Summer print from his My Solitudes series. There’s a printing process slideshow for each print in the series.
Even better, he has a series of blog posts which shows the process but with an added explanation of what’s happening and why. The printing phase starts from river_in_summer_14.html onwards. The design and carving phase starts from river_in_summer_13.html (nb. 13 leads to 1, then 2…. it doesn’t go straight to 14).
He also runs a webcam from his studio for several hours a day and that can be found at http://woodblock.com/webcam/webcam.php5en – typically mornings seem to be mostly prinitng related (by his trainees/assistants) where-as the evenings tend to be printing and carving related (by Dave himself). There’s also a woodlbock print making encyclopedia with sections on Tools, Materials, Printmaking, Tech notes.
As part of his collaborative publishing venture Mokuhankan Dave has been working on a project with illustrator Jed Henry (http://www.facebook.com/UkiyoEHeroes) looking at possibly producng copies of Jeds Ukiyoe Heroes work as woodblock prints. He’s finished carving the blocks for the Mario Kart print and has recorded videos showing the carving and first proof printing process which can be seen on YouTube.