Category: lecture

BOOK: Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop

November 1st, 2016 — 5:18pm

Book cover

Book Publication NEW RELEASE DATE: August 4, 2015
Three years in the writing, Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop, A Modern Guide to an Ancient Art, by April Vollmer, is being published by Watson-Guptill. A comprehensive handbook of materials, techniques and resources, the book is intended to make this waterbased technique accessible to contemporary artists.

Press Release–Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop

The book website with additional information, links to contributing artists, reviews by Claire Cuccio and Robert Waddell is:

Available for pre-order from bookstores here and from Random House here.

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2016 Book Events

April 21st, 2016 — 8:16pm
Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri, Brooklyn, New York
Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm

Newark Public Library, Newark, New Jersey
Saturday, May 21, from 2:00 to 4:00 Lecture and Hands-on Demonstration, part of the exhibition Impressions of the Natural World, Japanese Prints from the Special Collections Division

Morgan Art of Papermanking Conservatory and Educational Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
Friday, August 28, 2016, in conjunction with a two day class

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Art in Print Publication: Mokuhanga International Article

September 9th, 2012 — 6:12am


My article, Mokuhanga International, has been published in Art in Print. The article is a review of the current state of mokuhanga, Japanese woodblock technique,  in contemporary art outside Japan. It includes a brief overview of the history starting with the famous Edo period ukiy0-e prints, through the eclipse of the technique during the 20th century, and then the current renewal of interest in the technique for creative artists.

A PDF of the article can be seen here:  ArtinPrintVol2MokuhangaInternationalArticle

The updated version is on line at:  Art In Print Mokuhanga International on line

Please support this informative journal of the print world by subscribing, on line or in print, at: Art In Print on line Subscription

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International Art Assembly, Visegrad

September 9th, 2012 — 1:15am
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, is distinctive for including a group of international printmakers. The residency, held each August, is one of main cultural events 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, as it popularizes media and ideas that are new to this part of the world. Local television stations and newspapers record the process through film and interviews that are intended to heighten public awareness. The efforts of the printmakers are deeply appreciated by the people of the region.

In addition to the workshop events, an exhibition of works made during the Assembly is presented in October in the City Gallery, Visegrad, along with a full-color catalogue of participants, their work, and a critical essay. Additional efforts have included traveling exhibitions in galleries in towns throughout Republika Serbska and Serbia and Montenegro.

I am grateful to the organizers for their invitation to Repubika Serpska, Bosnia, which faces such difficult environmental, political and religious issues after the ethnic wars of the 1990s. It was a thought provoking visit, made significant for me by the strong connections I made with my fellow printmakers.

 Photos from Visegrad

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

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Publication: Graphic Impressions

January 27th, 2012 — 11:56am

International Focus: The First International Mokuhanga Conference, Kyoto, by April Vollmer, was published in the Fall 2011 edition of Graphic Impressions, the Newsletter of Southern Graphics Council International. The article reviews the various demonstrations, exhibitions and banquets at the conference, which took place in Kyoto and then at Tadao Ando’s Westin Conference Center on Awaji Island.


Photo is from the Jarfo exhibition of IMC Board Members at the conference.
Migration, digital and woodblock on washi, 32 x 26 inches

Link to article:
Graphic Impressions Fall 2011

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First International Mokuhanga Conference, Japan

August 21st, 2011 — 12:00am

June 7 to 12, 2011

First International Mokuhanga Conference, Japan
Exhibitions and Paper Presentations in Kyoto and Awaji, Japan
First International Mokuhanga Conference Website

The First International Mokuhanga Conference took place in Japan, June 7-12, 2011 in Kyoto and Awaji. The conference was a unique opportunity to meet artists from Japan and around the world who work with Japanese woodblock. This event was designed to generate a renewed interest in mokuhanga, preserving technical skills and bringing them into contemporary use. The conference brought together professional print artists, art educators and scholars in the field of woodblock printmaking to exchange current research information and experiences with Japanese traditional craftspeople including printmakers, tool makers, papermakers and other suppliers.

In addition to talks and demonstrations, the Mokuhanga Conference included an exhibition of the Board Members, an international mokuhanga exhibition, an artist’s print book exhibition, and a portfolio show. Other related events and woodblock print exhibitions in Kyoto during the conference are listed on the conference website.

More details of the conference are available at

Illustration: Protector, 2005, 24 x 24 inch mokuhanga woodblock, created at the Nagasawa Art Park, Japan, exhibited at the Nagasawa Art Park exhibition at the Kyoto Art Center.

This is a link to my photographs documenting the conference exhibitions, demonstrations, talks and banquets.

2011-06 International Mokuhanga Conference

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Mokuhanga, Beyond the Basics

October 21st, 2010 — 12:13pm

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

Location: The Japanese Paper Place, 77 Brock Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M6K 2L3

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

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Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri 2011

May 5th, 2010 — 12:00am

2010 Brooklyn Botanic Garden Demonstration

Next: 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

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.

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