When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Late starts accepted
  • Course Code W23PTGB05C
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

This course is ideal for the complete beginner or for those wishing to refresh their Japanese woodcut skills. The technique is entirely non-toxic using watercolour pigments and not oil based inks to make nuanced prints. It also requires no press so it is easy to set up at home. Over the six week course we will cover: a short history of Japanese woodcut, design of your 3 colour image, carving using Japanese tools, the kento registration system, and printing an edition of six prints onto handmade Washi paper

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • During the six week course you will understand the key concepts behind Japanese woodcut, it’s history and artistic range, as well as looking at the manufacture of washi paper.
  • Initially working from your own drawing you will design an image and learn how to make colour separations
  • You will understand the importance of accurate measuring when drawing image boxes on the woodblock and the use of traditional kento registration
  • Through demonstration and repetition you will learn how to cut the woodblock with growing confidence
  • You will explore the delicate, nuanced mokuhanga printing technique using watercolour pigments and nori, evaluating your prints to achieve the best results.
  • You will make six three colour prints on to handmade washi paper


  • Full fee
  • Concession fee
  • Class format and activities

    Classes will take place in a physically distanced studio , with all the appropriate measures in place for students’ safety. The tutor will deliver a series of relevant Powerpoint presentations on Japanese Ukiyo-e, Washi paper and contemporary Mokuhanga artists. There will be demonstrations at each stage of the design, cutting and printing, including supplementary films. Students will work independently and with tutor’s one to one guidance. All students should engage in discussions and crits.

    Entry requirements

    This course is for beginners or for those wishing to refresh their Japanese Woodcut skills. Some knowledge of relief printing such as woodcut or linocut is an advantage but by no means essential.

    What you need to know before you enrol

    This course is designed so that one week builds on the week before- to ensure that you thoroughly enjoy the course it is advisable to commit to the six week term. The class starts promptly at 6.00pm, in Room C32 in the main building, please leave enough time to find us! Please note that there is a minimal charge (typically £7.50) for the woodblocks and paper used, all other materials, watercolour pigment, nori and use of college tools are included in the fee.

    What you need

    Look at the work of the great mokuhanga masters such as Hokusai and Hiroshige to familiarise yourself with exponents of the technique. If you have your own woodcutting tools do bring them along. Please bring images, ideas, ideally a sketchbook to work with for initial woodcut. No aprons required, all other materials provided: woodblocks, tools, paper, watercolours and printing materials.

    What you can do next

    Following this course many students have repeated the course to firmly embed their Japanese Woodcut practice. Alternatively there is now a follow on short course Japanese Woodcut Beginners Part 2 and two Advanced Japanese Woodcut courses at Morley (Wednesday 10-1, or Thursday 6-9) where it is possible to explore and experiment with more nuanced Japanese Woodcut techniques.