'Hanami Cats' Woodblock Print
We're very proud of this print! It's one of our most complex designs yet! At least 10 different gradations were applied to this design, one by one - in the blanket, in the caption, and in the grass.
Every spring, Japanese people (and maybe their cats) celebrate the budding cherry blossoms with picnics, food and plenty of saké. These special gatherings are called hanami, which literally means 'flower viewing'.
The title caption of this print is read Hanyami, which combines the word hanami with nyan, the Japanese word for 'meow'. Yay cat puns!
The larger caption refers to the falling blossoms of a thousand cherry trees, and of course the yummy mochi sticks prepared especially for flower viewing.
This design requires many individual impressions to achieve a full range of color. David uses the finest quality of yamazakura (mountain cherry) to carve his printing blocks. The wood is capable of holding a very fine level of delicacy – every last detail is printed by the wood left standing, after the rest has been cut away.
The paper is handmade Echizen Hosho Washi, made by national living treasure, Iwano Ichibei IX. This is the exact same paper printers used over 200 years ago! You can see a video of Mr. Iwano at work here.
This print is in the traditional koban format – 7 x 9 inches (17.5 x 23 cm).