Knock on Wood: Woodblock Printing at Rogue Gallery
The Japanese method of woodblock printing has been in use for centuries, gaining popularity in the Edo period (1603-1868) in book printing, and evolving over time into a widely varied art form. If you think of iconic Japanese style waves in art, the images most likely coming to your mind were made with woodblock, such as Katsushika Hokusai’s famous piece “Great Wave off Kanagawa.” A great deal of Japan’s traditional art employs woodblock printing. However, modern pieces made with this method present a wide range of examples such as architectural and perspective art, portraiture, pop-art, street art, and abstract geometrics.
Walt Padgett, the instructor for Rogue Gallery and Art Center’s woodblock workshop, has been working with woodblock printing since 1978. Padgett is internationally renowned and recognized for his printed works inspired by his travels and studies in Japan, among many other places. He is truly dedicated to and learned in his art.
Every Thursday, from October 24 – Nov 14, aspiring printmakers with any to no experience in woodblock printing can benefit from Padgett’s years of practice as he guides the group through every step of creating a woodblock print. He likes to call the workshop “an ancient method with modern updates” as he teaches the detailed, traditional practice, but augments with modern techniques and tools which make the work more approachable.
With his guidance, each student will have the opportunity to take their own design from start to printed finish. This year, Padgett plans to create a print of his own alongside the group to further show his technique and allow students to follow his process.
Not only is woodblock printing a unique and versatile artistic skill to learn, but it is a fascinating means of connecting with ancient arts and human history. The art takes thoughtful work and a dedicated hand, and the result is something tangible that can be used to print and rework or experiment with again and again.
Woodblock Print Making: Traditional and Modern Methods with Walt Padgett
11 am – 3 pm, Thursdays, October 24 – November 22
Rogue Gallery and Art Center
10 am – 5 pm, Tuesday – Friday
11 am – 3 pm, Saturday