tanpo たんぽ
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
A tool used in woodblock printmaking *ukiyo-e 浮世絵. A piece of wood, a flat stone or some similar object is used as a core, wrapped in cloth, then saturated with water. It is used in place of a scrubbing cloth when shading or scumbling (softening the outlines) color or ink onto the woodblock *hangi 版木. The printer might, for example, add a little extra water with the tanpo to the woodblock before applying color or ink, thus achieving a band of lighter or darker area in the sky at the top of a print. Tanpo are also used to apply sizing or paste to a woodblock when working on gold, silver or mica printing.


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