Fuji Cherry 10s / 20s
Paper Type: Rice Paper, Legion Mulberry White 38 [Utrecht #19118]
Paper Size: 9.75" x 13" [24.8cm x 33cm]
Image size: 4.75" x 8.5" [12.1cm x 21.6cm]
Edition Size: 25
Inks Used: Van Son Rubber-based inks
Date: Left 6 Mar 2001; Right 19 Sep 2022
Production Notes:  I scanned the Japanese postage stamp [Scott #355, Fuji & Cherry Blossoms] and printed a reversed copy onto parchment paper [Bienfang No 100]. This I glued onto a linoleum block and cut directly through the paper using stencil cutters under a stereo dissecting microscope [Bausch & Lomb 13x].
 I scanned the Japanese postage stamp [Scott #338] and printed onto standard copy paper. Placing the image face down onto a linoleum block lightly coated with a dilute Mat Gel Medium. After this was dry, I gently moistened the paper and removed it, then cut as above.
I printed these blocks together as a collage with genuine stamps applied with a glue stick to the lower right and left corners. [See also individual prints: Fuji Cherry 10s and Fuji Cherry 20s.]
My first effort at printmaking was to make a replicas of Japanese Postage stamps of the WWII era, including the 10s Fuji Cherry stamp [Scott #355] which I completed in April 1996. I found that I loved making prints, and have not stopped for the last 26 years. In 2001 I re-cut the 1996 10s design with improved methods and issued a proper edition of 50 prints. As I continued to make these replica prints I expanded to other works on paper, but never stopped adding the replica series. I always printed them with generous margins in a vertical format to fit in a standard 11" x 14" shadowbox frame.
In 1997 I printed a Hokusai-inspired design, First Geese [Scott #365], and six years later Blue Geese [Scott #365] a re-denomination of the same design. They looked so good together that I printed the two as a duplex print in a horizontal format, and they were very popular at art sales events. Two other designs were so similar I made duplex prints of them as well: Napoleon / Hermes, and these were even more appreciated due to their much finer execution.
I longed to pair the Fuji Cherry 10s orange with its companion, the 20s blue [Scott #338], to make a duplex print with complementary colors that ought to make a dynamic and interesting pairing. This has brought me full-circle back to the origins of my love of printmaking. The contrast in execution over two decades is evident as I learned the craft and improved my methods. The 10s orange seems a bit clumsy by comparison to the much finer 20s blue, but still retains the charm that drew me to the image in the first place. Together, I think they do indeed make a highly compelling print.
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