Abstract

Japanese woodblock printmaking is a traditional printing method practiced for centuries. The modern challenge to this fine art is the constantly decreasing amount of available wood, wild cherry tree, which has been traditionally used as a printing block material. The increasing amount of interest focuses on finding alternative wood types, which would compare successfully with the desired quality of the wild cherry tree. Our initial research has shown that heat-treated alder and birch trees could both be considered as possible alternatives for block material. In this paper we introduce the optical characterization (CIELAB color and gloss) of black ink prints made on two different handmade papers with printing blocks made of low-temperature (120°C, 140°C) heat-treated alder and birch. Results show lowered ink transfer from wood when the heat treatment temperature rises, more transferred ink from alder, and printing paper differences due to fiber content differences.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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