Contemporary Japanese woodblock printmaking with Wuon-Gean Ho

Ref: SLW32026

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About this course

Japanese woodblock printing is a beautiful, non-toxic way of printing. Learn how to create your own multicoloured prints using traditional tools and materials.

Course Description

Learn the ancient skill of Japanese woodblock printmaking (mokuhanga) using traditional tools and brushes. Create and print your own designs using this unique printing method.

This course offers a contemporary take on Japanese woodblock printing. Unlike western, oil-based printing, this technique uses non-toxic materials such as glue, water, pigments and long-fibred paper to create a unique, glowing effect.

Traditionally, it was said that it would take ten years to master carving and seven to learn how to print. In this fun, three-day course, you will learn how to design, carve and print multicoloured images of your own.

Beginning on the first evening, we will look at a slideshow of some famous works and learn how they were created from different blocks. You will learn how to handle and carve the wood, and make your first test print using special brushes and hand-held printing discs.

Once you have a feel of the process, there will be a day of sketching and planning your own multicoloured design, and transferring it to the blocks. There will be an opportunity to wander the beautiful gardens to find inspiration for your woodblock designs, or to dive deep into the narratives that some of the Japanese masters explored. Please feel free to bring ideas that you might be interested in working with too. You will be given individual feedback on how to simplify your images and translate them into carved form.

You will carve your own projects, with one-to-one support and group demonstrations on how to handle the tools, how to achieve various carving effects and how to keep them sharp. You will experience a printing game to enrich your learning, where pre-carved blocks are used to create a mysterious image together as a class.

On the final day, you will be printing again. It will be a chance for you to see how the blocks fit together in the final image, and to practise making deeper and richer colours. You will start to use more advanced printing techniques such as goma-zuri (sesame seed effect) and bokashi (gradient).

You will go home with your own set of tools for carving and printing, and a portfolio of your very own original prints.

Course Materials


  • The College will provide four sheets of Shina plywood (22.5cm x 30cm), a set of cutters, a baren, some carbon paper, some Fabriano Rosaspina printing paper and some tracing paper each. Some Hosho paper, Sumi ink, rice glue and watercolour paint will be shared amongst the group.

What students need to bring

  • Drawing materials and a sketchbook
  • Watercolour brushes, including a flat wash brush, glue brush
  • Jam jars, palette
  • Apron

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • The shop stocks a good range of art materials, including printing papers, watercolour paints, watercolour brushes, glue brushes, carbon paper, tracing paper, Sumi ink, drawing materials, sketchbooks, etc.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Sharpening and special tools

Additional information

If you are left handed, please let the tutor know via the bookings office at: [email protected]. Your tutor will bring a spare brand new 6mm left handed hangito for optional purchase, which is £34.20, including VAT. You are also welcome to order one for the same price from Intaglio Printmaker, via Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. There may be restrictions on equipment available to students in tutor’s absence.


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)

General Information


Wuon-Gean Ho

Wuon-Gean Ho is an award-winning artist printmaker who was born in Oxford and now lives in London. She studied the art of Japanese woodblock printing in Japan. She makes prints, books and animations, and her work is in the collection of the V&A and British Museum.


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

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.