Professor Wang Chao demonstrating inking up the block with ink.
Today is the bit we'd been waiting for. Printing. This starts with the new thrill of the "Chinese print table" As this is a new way, to us, of registering the print it's worth showing how it works.
Basically the table has a wide hole through it's surface. The paper is actually clamped onto the surface of the table to the right of the hole, positioning it so there is enough paper for the block which is positioned in place on the left of the gap.
Paper being clamped, with block, and paper, in printing position.
Paper in pre-print position.
Once the paper is clamped, a sheet of wood is placed on the top of the table above the clamp and the paper curved back over on itself and laid on top.
This is the point when the 'original sketch tracing' comes in to it's own. You know, the thing none of us had. The paper clamped onto the table has the sketch traced onto the sheet on the bottom of the pile. This sheet is then flipped over onto the left side of the table and used to position the keyblock in relation to the sketch.
Of course without this sketch we decided to just start printing our B/W keyblock and then we could use the first one printed as the register for the following blocks.
So we positioned the block in relation to the paper and stuck the block down in the traditional and ancient Chinese way. Blue tack.
Le Shao Bin, The Technician, inking up the block
First one printed
Paper on the block with image showing though the thin paper
Judith's first print
Ian's first print
The paper's flipped over the wood and pulled taught against the clamp before being laid down and flattened onto the block. Once on the inked block it's rubbed with a Chinese baren to transfer the image.
The Chinese baren. Made by the students themselves
The paper back on the pile
Prints hanging down to reveal the next piece of paper for printing
As we worked though our paper we realised it's a lovely compact way to accurately register the paper hang it out to dry and keep it in order.
A day printing the black and it was time for a head clearing stroll around the lake.
Seen lit up at dusk we realised why it's called the 'Sunset Glow at Leifeng Pagoda'