2010 Printopolis, Toronto – Mokuhanga, Beyond the Basics

Printopolis Conference at Open Studio, Toronto
Mokuhanga, Beyond the Basics Exhibition and Demonstration
Presenters: Elizabeth Forrest and April Vollmer

April Vollmer Printopolis Event Photos

Demonstration – Mokuhanga: Beyond the Basics
This demonstration goes beyond the basics of mokuhanga and offers the unique perspectives of two experienced practitioners. Vollmer will demonstrate the use of kento registration notches cut directly in the block and how to repeatedly print multiple blocks to illustrate the process of creating an image that is larger and more complex than can be made from straightforward printing from a single set of blocks. Forrest will demonstrate pigment layering and bokashi—the blending of colours and values—recommending various approaches to overcome printing challenges, such as accurate registration and use of binders to permit crisp, separated colour superimposition. This demo is relevant to printmakers with some previous knowledge of mokuhanga.

Exhibition – Mokuhanga and Beyond
This is an exhibition of contemporary Mokuhanga, Japanese water-base woodblock printing, curated by Elizabeth Forrest and April Vollmer. The show features nine artists from Canada, the USA and Europe who use the technique to create personal prints. All have been profoundly influenced by the woodblock tradition of Japan, and many have studied there. Each artist incorporates essential elements of the technique, the precise cutting and registration, control of color, and printing on handmade Japanese washi, in the creation of new work. The show focuses on the way each artist uses the technique to further an individual vision, giving the tradition of Japanese woodblock printmaking new vitality by creating challenging contemporary art that could be made in no other way.

The artists included are:

Jacomijn den Engelsen, Holland
Elizabeth Forrest, Canada
Daniel Heyman, USA
Dariuz Kaca, Poland
Mike Lyon, USA
Tuula Moilanen, Finland/Japan
Eva Pietzcker, Germany
April Vollmer, USA
Barbara Wybou, Canada



2010 Cheryl McGinnis Gallery – Radial Patterning

September 8 to October 9, 2010

Kosha 7, 2010, woodblock and mixed media on panel, 12 x 12 x 2 inches

Opening Reception: September 15, 6:00 to 8:00pm
RADIAL PATTERNING: Serena Buschi, Kira Greene, Jamie Lee, Tina Seligman, April Vollmer
Cheryl McGinnis Gallery
555 Eighth Avenue, Suite 710 (at 38th Street) New York, NY 10018
(212) 594-4066
Photos: Radial Patterning Reception

Working with mandala forms composed of overlapping circular shapes within a square, April Vollmer explores the nature of sacred spaces and the impulse of people to create these structures. Vollmer’s Kosha Series of woodblock and mixed media panels was inspired by her recent visit to India’s early Buddhist sites. Beginning with radial forms created from Indian temple floor plans and temple sculptures of the lotus, Vollmer expands to include images from a growing library of her drawings, photographs and hand-carved wood blocks of flora, birds, and insects. She combines traditional Japanese woodblock technique printed on washi (Japanese kozo fiber paper) with offset, digital printing and fro!age, collaged together in translucent layers on wood panels. Choosing a limited pale!e of blues and grays, rather than the bright colors associated with India, Vollmer’s images become universal and timeless with references to all cultures






2011 Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri

[from 1996 to 2016 I demonstrated mokuhanga at the annual Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival]
April 30 and May 1, 2011
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Sakura Matsuri, Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival
Moku Hanga printmaking demonstrations both weekend afternoons at 4:00 pm
1000 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225-1099
Brookyn Botanic Garden Website
Brookyn Botanic Garden Exhibition 2007
Brooklyn Botanic Garden demonstration 2011

Participate in New York City’s “rite of spring” at Sakura Matsuri, a phenomenal weekend celebrating Japanese culture with over 60 events and performances. Enjoy contemporary and traditional Japanese music and dance, taiko drumming, ikebana flower arranging, Japanese DJs, presentations on the art of manga, tea ceremonies, and workshops for all ages.


2009 International Art Assembly, Visegrad

moths from my last trip to Bosnia
This print shows the moths with eyes that I found at the monastery on my last visit.

The International Art Assembly in Visegrad, Republika Srpska, Bosnia, is distinctive for including a group of international printmakers. The August residency is an important cultural event for the Visegrad region. A group of established printmakers from around the world are invited for this program to work in a variety of techniques and to demonstrate their approaches to one another and the general public. This printmaking workshop has become a wide-reaching opportunity to exchange ideas and to has grown into a significant contribution to the artistic, cultural and educational stimulation of the region. Local television stations and newspapers record  film and interviews that are intended to heighten public awareness. The efforts of the printmakers are deeply appreciated by the people of the region.

I am grateful to the organizers for their invitation to Repubika Serpska, Bosnia, which faces difficult environmental, political and religious issues after the devastating ethnic wars of the 1990s. It was a thought provoking visit, made special by the strong connections between participating artists.

Printmaking Participants
Belgium: Dragana Franssen Bojić
Denmark: Inger Lise Rasmussen, Ann-Dorte Nielsen, Bodil Sohn
Serbia: Biljana Vukovic, Ivana Stankovic
USA: April Vollmer, Susan Provost-Dubois