Japanese woodcut printmaking with Akiko Fujikawa

Ref: SLW09748

Suitable for all


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About this course

Use traditional Japanese relief printmaking techniques to make colour prints using watercolour inks.

Course Description

Discover the techniques of traditional Japanese woodcut printmaking. Make colour prints with the relief woodcut process using watercolour inks and printing on moist paper. The result is a print which has the delicacy and transparency of a watercolour painting.

Japanese woodcut printmaking is a traditional method of making a colour print by means of the relief woodcut process. How it differs from the process of European woodcut is by its use of watercolour inks and printing on moist paper to achieve the delicate effect of a watercolour painting. On this course you will learn the basic techniques which you can explore and practice at home.

The tutor will introduce and explain each stage of the process, including completing your design, cutting the wood, inking, layering and printing on moist paper with a baren by hand.

By the end of the course you will have completed three woodblocks, learned and applied the techniques to produce up to 16 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, 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:
  • Japanese sumi (black ink), a box of 12 watercolour paints, tracing paper, sandpaper and Nori paste shared amongst the group.
  • 13 sheets of prepared Japanese printing paper per student, 1 test plywood,
  • 3 pieces of Japanese plywood (professional grade Shina veneer from Japan)
  • Set of woodcut tools per student
  • The tutor will provide three different strengths of Barens for each student and a range of materials including paints and Japanese black ink to use.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring a 17cm x 24cm drawing for the image you wish to make. A 3-4 colour simple design would be best (as one colour needs one block unless colours are far apart from each other.) Any water colour paints, including Chinese watercolour paints, you have at home will be useful.

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.


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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