April Vollmer is a New York artist who studied mokuhanga after receiving her Master of Fine Arts in printmaking at Hunter College. Her work has been shown widely and she teaches Japanese woodblock regularly at the Lower East Side Printshop. She has participated in many residencies including the Nagasawa Art Park in Japan, and was on the board of the first and second International Mokuhanga Conferences. Her book "Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop" was released in 2015 by Watson-Guptill.
Just published: Living on the Edge, Black Bird/White Bird at the Cliffs, a new book based on April Vollmer’s recent bird photography.
Living on the Edge is a collection of photographs of black and white birds taken along the northern California Pacific shore during the winter of 2020. The white birds are great egrets and snowy egrets, the black birds are crows and ravens. These are all common birds, managing along a thin edge of possibility. They are common because they are so adaptable, living along the cliffs at the edge of the ocean, and at the margins of human activity. They are experts at calculating exactly how much energy to spend avoiding close contact with humans.
Happy to report that my 12 x 1 2 inch woodcut and mixed media work from 2006, “Kosha” graces the cover of a new book “Chaos and Dynamical Systems,” Princeton University Press, by David Feldman, an old friend who now teaches physics and mathematics. https://press.princeton.edu/titles/13469.html
Very happy to have my work illustrate his writing.
The International Mokuhanga Conference (IMC2017) took place in Hawaii September 28 to October 1, 2017.
Photos of the conference, which included ninety-nine participants from sixteen countries are here. Planning is underway for 2020.
Pests of Public Importance, 2017, edition 126, $100 ($65 pre-publication)
3 x 2.25 inch woodcut and letterpress boustrophedon accordion book
April Vollmer: woodcut
Esther K. Smith: concept, book structure, design
Dikko Faust: letterpress, typesetting
Publisher: Purgatory Pie Press
With an eponymous poem by Georgia Luna Smith Faust
available from Purgatory Pie Press Dikko Printing on his Vandercook
Also available uncut as a flat print in an edition of 50
For Pests of Public Importance Vollmer worked closely with Esther K. Smith on the idea and structure of a letterpress printed book. The Pests of the title are mosquitoes, carriers of a multitude of diseases beginning with but not ending with zika, yellow fever, dengue and malaria. The importance of these pests has increased exponentially this century because of the combination of transcontinental travel and global warming. There seems to be a mosquito species perfectly evolved for every small ecological niche in the ever more interconnected world. The power of these pests is in their numbers and their power of replication, which is reflected in the woodcut print with its rhythm of insects framed with a repeating classical palmette frieze.
Everything is handmade in this project: the detailed cutting was done with special Japanese tools and a magnifying light; the block was printed with oil-based ink by master letterpress printer Dikko Faust. Georgia Luna Smith Faust’s poem is a perfect compliment to the block print, resulting in a satisfying collaboration that is as elegant as it is disconcerting.
Wednesday, November 2, 6:00 pm Japanese Art Society of Americaat The Marymount School
1026 Fifth Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets, New York Mokuhanga in Translation: Printing, Writing and Teaching: the World of Japanese Woodcuts
Join us for a lecture by April Vollmer, a New York–based artist and printmaker who specializes in mokuhanga, Japanese woodcut printmaking. Ms. Vollmer received an MFA from Hunter College, has exhibited her work internationally and has taught workshops across the U.S. Awards include fellowships at the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts,and the Nagasawa Art Park program in Japan. Her work has been published in journals including Science, Contemporary Impressions and Art in Print. She was on the board of the First and Second International Mokuhanga Conferences in Japan and her book, Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop, was released by Watson-Guptill in 2015. Reservations are required: please visit JASA Calendar of Events.
April Vollmer, Three of Hearts, 12 x 12 inches, mokuhanga and gold leaf