Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Woodblock and Linocut

Inspired by a recent visit to Krakow's Manngha Center for Japanese Art, I've been looking into woodcut and linocut printing techniques. The Manngha Center has a beautiful collection of original woodblock prints by both Hokusai and Hiroshige, two of Japan's most celebrated artists from the late 1700 / early 1800's. The center also hosts fun cultural and artistic workshops for all ages (during our visit we discovered a fantastic playroom hidden away in the basement).

It was my first time seeing an exhibition of woodblock artwork, and there were two things in particular that made an impression (pun intended). The first was the expressiveness of the tiny people portrayed in Hokusai's prints, how lively and dynamic they appeared. The second was Hiroshige's ability to evoke a mood in his prints based on weather conditions. A common motif in many of their prints is the ever-looming Mt. Fuji.

Katsushika Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai

Hiroshige Ando

Each of these prints required multiple blocks (one for each color) to be carved with intricate precision.  
Printing with woodblock or linocut is limited to simple lines and limited tones, resulting in a textured graphic quality that's unique to the method - using wood instead of linoleum also adds the texture of the grain. Once the block is cut, it can produce hundreds of original copies. Modern prints are just as enticing, an affordable form of decorative artwork.

 Prints by Magprint  1 | 2 on a moleskin notebook

Clockwise from left: prints by Sadanobu, and thebigharumph 1, 2

Animal prints by annasee 1 | 2

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Krakow's Indie Market

Two weekends ago I (along with some friends from out of town) serendipitously stumbled upon 'Targi Dizajnu vol. 3', a sort of artisans market for independent Krakow-based designers.  Apparently this is a seasonal event, where mostly 20 to 30-something artists gather to showcase their various handmade wares, apparel, and accessories. The level of craftsmanship was pretty impressive, especially for some of the stylish hand-sewn purses and clothing items. It seemed like a lot of the designers are available for custom orders, and many are reachable through facebook if they don't have independent websites. A list of links to designers is available here.
A few of my photos from the event:

Upcycled bags by Trashki

Right: Jackets hung in background by Bosque


Plush critters by Entala

All images taken by me - Copyright 2012 CozyCity. Please cite if borrowed.
I wasn't able to identify all of the products shown in my photos. If you see your product, please let me know so I can tag you.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Out of the City (Part II)

To a winter wonderland

A pristine snowscape broken only by the forest animals - including three wolves following the trail not long before us

Near the peak, everything still frosted over, cold mountain air prevailing over bright sunlight

Skeletons of trees

A long-anticipated view over the Tatra mountains (from Schronisko PTTK, Turbacz)

A furry friend who also wishes to enjoy the view.

All images taken by me - Copyright 2012 CozyCity. Please cite if borrowed.