Portraits #3 ships ...
Posted by Dave Bull at 6:56 PM, March 5, 2014 [Permalink]
A few days ago I returned to the workshop after a ten-day 'break' over in Canada visiting my family - parents, siblings, daughters, and grand-children ... Ten days was nowhere near enough, but it was all I could spare just now. Our new Portraits series has kind of taken over our lives here at Mokuhankan.
While I was away, the initial batch of print #3 - The Lunatic - arrived from printer Numabe-san.
The packing ladies had done all the preparation for shipping, and were just waiting for me to confirm that the prints were 'OK', before getting them all packed up. They were indeed all acceptable - as we expect from Numabe-san these days - so while the ladies got busy finishing the preparation, I fired up my bookkeeping software and initiated the automated monthly billing procedure. Payments have been streaming in over the past couple of days, and today the first batch of 130 or so went off to the Post Office.
That leaves around 100 more, and they will leave bit by bit over the next week, as those collectors send their payments in.
But 25 of the collectors will not be getting their prints sent that way in the usual envelope-style packaging. They'll be getting a larger boxy package ... Yes, the first batch of cases have been finished by Dani-san!
For any of you who might be thinking these are a bit late, I have to tell you that it's a miracle we're getting them at all. Here's his home and workshop around two weeks back:
He's way out in the country, and when that snow hit, was left completely to his own devices; he and his family dug themselves out, but the rural roads were not cleared at all, and they had to make 3 hour trips on foot to the nearest town to get food and supplies.
The snow eventually got cleared away, his normal business could resume, and yesterday afternoon he drove over here with the first 25 cases. Later today, we will be running these down to our local post office, each one with the current print inside, and off they'll go.
He is scheduled to be back here in the last week of March with the next couple of dozen, and that pattern will continue until we've dug our way through all the pending orders.
Chibi Heroes update ... new case!
Posted by Dave Bull at 9:58 PM, February 10, 2014 [Permalink]
Remember our Chibi Heroes series from last year?
I say 'last year', but the Chibi Heroes series is actually alive and well; we have a number of currently active subscribers, and more joining all the time.
Why do I mention it now, though? Because finally ... we are ready with the new storage case / display stand!
IAmA Update ...
Posted by Dave Bull at 8:44 PM, February 8, 2014 [Permalink]
So we're done! The Reddit event came off pretty much as planned, although as it wasn't promoted on the Reddit Sidebar, there weren't all that many people 'present'.
I don't have any kind of image or photo to show you - I was pretty busy start to finish with print-making, answering questions, updating the thread, and generally having a good time, to take any ...
Nor was the - 3-hour! - video stream preserved ... All that remains is a long Reddit thread with any number of over-blown replies from Dave!
IAmA woodblock printmaker!
Posted by Dave Bull at 3:52 PM, February 6, 2014 [Permalink]
Are there many Reddit readers here on this blog? Perhaps not too many I think ...
For those of you who don't know what the IAmA designation refers to, it is "I am a (fill in the blank) - ask me anything," and is a very popular section of the vast website known as Reddit.com. (It is also known as "AMA" ... "Ask me Anything ...")
The concept is simple - a web page is opened, with an opening statement created by a person who is either famous, noted for some reason, or - and this is where I come in - doing something particularly interesting to the community at large.
Readers of the page submit questions in the hope that the person will answer them, and other readers vote these questions up and down. Questions that rise to the top are usually answered by the person, and these answers then generate a threaded discussion.
If the target person takes the time to create thoughtful answers the discussion can become quite interesting, and the IAmA concept has certainly taken off, with people from all walks of life hosting discussions on the site.
Jed and I are going to give it a try, and we've scheduled an IAmA for later this week. Our event though, will be an IAmA with a difference - we are going to coordinate it with a live Webcam session, and I will make a print - start to finish - while people watch (and hopefully ask interesting questions).
You might ask how I will possibly type my replies while printing, but don't worry, I have hired a transcriber - a young lady in the US - who is going to type madly in the background while I speak on the camera, and we'll put the text into the thread at the appropriate places.
Jed himself will answer whatever questions are directed to him ...
AND ... we have a bonus. I will make around 10 or so copies of the print (from our Portraits series), and after the session is over, will give these out to the contributors whose comments reach the top section of the page (voted by the contributors, of course)!
Don't miss this one! It will start at:
- 2pm Friday afternoon (US West coast)
- 5pm (US East coast)
- 10pm - or so (Europe)
- 7am Saturday (Tokyo)
... and will run at least until the prints are finished.
Note: we don't have a exact URL to send you yet, as that will not be known until a few minutes before the scheduled starting time, at the moment I initiate the thread. But if you watch the Reddit IAmA page around that time, you should find it with no problem ...
I hope to see you (and your questions) there! And tell your friends!
Portraits series cases arrive!
Posted by Dave Bull at 9:16 PM, January 31, 2014 [Permalink]
We finally have some cases available for our Portraits print series ...
At last! The long-awaited display/storage cases for our Portraits prints have started to arrive ...
And when I say 'cases' in plural, that's exactly what I mean - we have two types of case available! I have one type right here in my workroom, so am able to take some photos:
As for the other type, that is over at Jed's place, and I'll be able to show a photo as soon as he sends me some. For now, please visit the case page of the website for more information!
Wrapping things up!
Posted by Dave Bull at 1:18 AM, January 31, 2014 [Permalink]
Where are our packages going?
As you might expect, among the subscribers to our new Ukiyoe Heroes Portraits series are many people with an interest in computer gaming. They are - of course - our 'target market' if you think in such terms. So it shouldn't come as any surprise to learn that we have subscribers who actually work in the game industry:
Here's another one:
But it's not just game companies that provide refuge for our subscribers. We also have prints going out each month to some top companies in the tech field, like this:
... and this very nice address:
I always get a smile when I see this package going through our system, imagining that the name is a 'cover', and the package is actually going to the CEO's office ... :~)
But speaking of that last one - to the Cupertino address - I got an advertising email from Apple just yesterday, with an image that made me look twice. Our subscriber working there must have received his first Portraits print a couple of weeks ago, and when he opened the envelope, found our ribbon-wrapped package inside:
And I now suspect that he doesn't work in the CEO's office, but in the advertising department, because look at this photo from the Apple ad in my email!
Hey! That was our totally original and completely unique - never done by anybody else - idea!
(Not! But we're happy to be in such classy company!)
Next Portraits print gets under way
Posted by Dave Bull at 12:54 AM, January 31, 2014 [Permalink]
Portraits #4 gets under way ...
With the very large number of people now signed up for the new Portraits series, we have to be very careful to keep our production well organized. If we start to slip on our schedule, we'll be in big trouble. So although this is still 'only' January, we're working on prints #2, #3 and #4 simultaneously.
#2 (Demon King) has been printing for a couple of weeks now, and our packing lady Mrs. Ishigami has now got a big pile of those wrapped and packed, waiting for the invoicing to get started on the 1st of the month, in a couple of days. The first batch of them will then head out to the Post Office on Monday morning.
Carving on #3 (The Lunatic) was finished a couple of weeks back, and it is now being printed - by our 'outside' team of Numabe-san and Tetsui-san. Jed gave us a pretty complex and difficult image for this one, and we decided to send it 'out' rather than have our in-house printers struggle with it. That makes it much more expensive for us, and we'll lose money on this one for sure, but hopefully we'll get back on an even keel from here on.
As for #4, the key block is done, as are all the colour blocks but one. Here's the key:
Is that enough for you to figure out who this is? Perhaps ...
I said 'all but one' and here's that one that is still to be carved - it might need a bit of explanation ... what's the yellow circle?
It's boxwood. I've inlaid a circle of that harder wood to make the hair carving go more smoothly and to ensure that the block will last longer. Now that we are committed to making many hundreds of each of these prints, it's very important to ensure good block longevity, and using boxwood will certainly do that!
Flight of Fantasy - key block progress II
Posted by Dave Bull at 12:50 AM, January 31, 2014 [Permalink]
There has been a ton of work done here over the past few days, and it's going to take more than one blog post to catch up ...
Here's how the key block for the 'Flight of Fantasy' print has been coming along; this scan is from a couple of days ago:
And after this morning's work:
Why did it take two days just to get that small amount of progress made? As usual, something got in the way ... let's save that for the next post!
Webcast with Jed ... recorded version
Posted by Dave Bull at 2:16 PM, January 23, 2014 [Permalink]
Jed is now back in the USA, but the Webcast lives on!
He was only here for a couple of hours one morning during his (very busy) trip to Tokyo this month, and while he was here, we put the Webcam on, sat him in a chair, and tossed questions his way. He was glad to escape once it was done!
We recorded the whole thing (about an hour of it), and you can see it over on the Ustream website.
Flight of Fantasy - key block progress
Posted by Dave Bull at 2:05 PM, January 23, 2014 [Permalink]
The next Heroes print is underway ...
No rest for the wicked ... carving is moving ahead, and work has begun on the key block for the next Heroes print - the 'Flight of Fantasy':
This one is insane. There is no other word for it. There is no way that such a detailed design can be produced at this scale.
Will it make any sense once it's done, or will it just be a jumbled mass of blurred lines? Only time will tell ...
Posted by Dave Bull at 12:23 AM, January 11, 2014 [Permalink]
Jed & Dave - Live Webcast in Tokyo!
Jed & Dave - Together in Tokyo ... live webcast!
Set your calendar for the date/time:
- Tokyo: Monday January 20th, 10:00 AM
- US West coast: 5:00 PM Sunday January 19th
- US East coast: 8:00 PM Sunday January 19th
- London: 1:00 AM Monday January 20th (sorry!)
Jed is currently in Tokyo, and during his trip will - of course! - spend some time in Dave's workshop. We want to share this event with all our fans, so are planning a one-hour webcast live from the workshop. Jed and Dave in conversation will be the main focus of the broadcast, but we'll also take the camera for a 'walk' around the shop and let you look over the shoulder of the printers at work.
The broadcast will be visible on two web sites:
Dave's webcam page incorporates a live message board, which we will be monitoring during the course of the broadcast. Send in your questions and comments during the broadcast, or feel free to let us know in advance here on this Facebook page what topics you would like us to cover.
Don't miss this one!
Posted by Dave Bull at 7:06 PM, January 7, 2014 [Permalink]
The Portraits series is now up and running ...
The New Year has begun, as has our new Portraits series - we have begun shipping!
Hey, if Apple fans can do it, why can't we! Let's have a little series of 'unboxing' photos. We're pretty pleased with our packaging - it's both attractive and secure - and we hope you enjoy it too!
Rather than duplicate the content here on the blog, please visit the 'unboxing' page to see the complete series of photos ...
And if you want to join up and receive these beautiful prints yourself (or as a gift for somebody), please look at the Subscription Page.
For more entries, please make a selection from the 'Table of Contents' section of the SideBar on the right ...