Japanese woodcut printmaking with Akiko Fujikawa

Ref: SLW31671

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About this course

Use traditional Japanese relief printmaking techniques to make colour prints using watercolour paint, Japanese black Sumi ink, Japanese paper and a Japanese printing disc (baren).

Course Description

Japanese woodblock printing is a craft of discipline and sensibility. It is a traditional method of making an edition of colour prints using the relief woodcut process. It differs from the European process by its use of a Japanese baren (printing disc) to print on moist paper. The result is a print which has the delicacy of historical Ukiyo-e print in the Japanese Edo period.

During this course, the tutor will introduce and explain each stage of the process, including completing and transferring your design, carving the woodblock, applying the watercolour paints, preparing and moistening paper. This is followed by the effective use of a baren to complete your prints by hand.

On the first evening, your tutor will check your design and advise on any adjustments. On the following evenings, you may be able to work in the studio with the tutor’s permission.

You will learn the basic techniques which you can explore and practise at home.

By the end of the course, you will have completed three woodblocks, learned and applied techniques to produce an edition of prints from your blocks and gained confidence in exploring printmaking with colour and layers.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing materials, including:
  • Japanese sumi (black ink) and watercolour paints to share
  • Tracing paper, carbon paper, sandpaper
  • Nori paste
  • 12 sheets of prepared Japanese printing paper per student
  • 1 test plywood
  • 3 pieces of Japanese plywood
  • Set of woodcut tools per student and a traditional Japanese baren for each student to take home
  • A folder

What students need to bring

  • Please bring a 15cm x 21cm drawing for the image you wish to make. A 3-4 colour simple design would be best (as generally each colour needs a separate block).
  • An apron
  • Any water colour paints will be useful, including Chinese watercolour paints (or gouache is fine) that you have at home.
  • 4 – 5 minimum 200ml glass jars with lids (small jam jar/mustard jar size is good)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Additional Nori paste
  • Drawing media and paper for your designs
  • Available from tutor:
  • Additional plywood blocks, Cotman watercolour paint tubes, and various sizes and shapes of knives, traditional Japanese barens and tracing paper will be available to purchase from the tutor.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Akiko Fujikawa

After studying traditional Japanese woodblock printing under Master print artist Takeji Asano and other ukiyoe carvers and printers in Japan, Akiko has taught woodblock printmaking in Cambridgeshire and Essex, and exhibited her own work in Finland, Germany, Japan, London and Paris. Her works have been purchased by Chelmsford Museum, Braintree Museum, The British Museum and many private collectors.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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