Hanga Tool Uses
Tools Used for Hanga
(Japanese Woodblock) Printmaking

Woodcarving knife

Use: Cutting all lines and edges of shapes, of the image design on the plate.

Bull-nosed flat gouge

Are used with pushing motion to clear away wood from between lines carved with the hangi-to. Removes the wood that is not required

U-shaped gouge

Use: Removal of unwanted wood and also for cutting a gouge where needed in the image.

V-shaped gouge

Use: For cutting fine lines (negative) as demanded by the image.


Large Half-Round Shallow U-gouge used to remove large areas of unwanted wood.

Maru Bake.

These printing brushes are hand-made using horses' tail and are used to spread the pigment evenly on the plate.

Hanga Bake.

These printing brushes are hand-made using horses' tail and are used to ink small areas


This little brush is made from short strips of takenokawa (bamboo sheath) tied to a stick. It is used to apply pigment and rice paste to the plate.

The Baren is the tool used to burnishes the paper on the inked plate to get a transfer of colour onto the paper.

A baren is made up of three parts.

1.TAKENOKAWA (bamboo sheath). is replaced whenever it becomes worn or split.

2.ATEGAWA (backing disc with a slight rim, 5 1/2" dia). made of 40 - 50 layers of washi (paper mache), which takes anywhere from 7 to 9 months to layer the material. Each layer is dried from 2 days for first layers up to 8 days as the thickness increases,before applying the next. The best washi is used with 'warabi nori', a paste made from the flour of the fiddlehead fern making the thinnest and strongest baren. Several coats of black lacquer finishes the ategawa, a work of art in its own right.

3.SHIN, pronounced shen, (core). The cord that is coiled in a flat spiral is the guts of the baren. Strands of Takenokawa (bamboo sheath) are braided together making a very long strand of cord and this is coiled onto the Ategawa. It is the nodes of the coiled shin that assist in the printing proceedure.

Hosho Paper

Traditional, ukiyo-e type 100% kozo fibre, hand-made, hand-sized paper. This paper is made from the inner bark of the Mulberry tree and has been used for over 300 years in the traditional hanga (japanese woodcut) printmaking.

Basswood plates

Basswood comes from the eastern part of this continent, Ont, Que, Penn, NY. It is a moderately soft wood with tight grain.


Dry or Powder Pigments are traditional used. Another type is colourants that are suspendent in a waterbase dispersant.. The pigment is mixed with Rice Paste directly on the plate. The resutls is a transparent colour with the rice past acting as a binder.

My WorkSpace Hori-Dai Caving Bench Get Pasted
Sharpening Tie Baren
Carving Tools Mechanics
Sharpening V gouge Cut a Kento
Inking Brush

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