What is the difference between Joined vs. Single woodblock construction?

As in Japanese woodblock printing.

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2 thoughts on “What is the difference between Joined vs. Single woodblock construction?

  1. Hey TriciaKat,

    "Yosegi is a sculpture technique, in which individually carved blocks of wood are joined together. The carving is then completed and the assembled sculpture is finished with lacquer and gold leaf or paint. This is the technique that Genkei used when creating all five hundred rakans at Gohyaku Rakanji (Temple of the Five Hundred Arharts). During the later portion of the Heian period (794-1185), the “single-woodblock construction” (ichiboku-zukuri) was replaced by “joined/multiple woodblock construction” (yosegi-zukuri). This came about do the spread of the Amida faith among the aristocracy, and growing demand for new temples and Buddhist images. The one who revolutionized this new technique of yosegi-zukuri was the sculpture Jocho. Yosegi-zukuri made it possible for sculptures to be made from several pieces that appear to be unable to interlock. This style was not only just a technical innovation but also aided, in the treatment of the Buddhist images’ faces and bodies, the trends and tastes of the times. Sadly, Jocho has only one surviving work, which is an image of Amida Nyorai in the Phoenix Hall of Byodoin near Kyoto."

  2. A single woodblock for use in block printing would be a plank cut from a tree such as cherry wood. These can be up to 12 inches or more in width.

    If a wider dimension is required then two or more pieces will have to be edge glued to make up a larger surface, using carpenter’s glue and clamps.

    Today, many printmakers working with woodcuts will use a block cut out from a sheet of nice plywood, such as Baltic Birch or Shina from Japan.

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