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Integrating the Apprenticeship Model in Higher Education

Teaching woodblock printmaking to today’s university students is both challenging . . . and surprisingly easy. On the one hand, the student is already immersed in the digital word of handheld devices. On the other hand, students also desire a physical connection and means of expression using other handheld devices, namely barens and chisels.

The secret in our success is to integrate the following strategies within the curriculum: (1) I connect students’ keen interest in Japanese culture and traditions; (2) I train students to use software (primarily Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator); (3) I require students to concentrate on manual dexterity and craftsmanship through carving exercises building on simple skills; and (4) I expect students to print their own color charts which allows for a direct understanding of the printing process.

I will supply the conference participants with lesson plans, examples of student projects, test blocks, and digital process strategies for teaching traditional Japanese style woodblock printmaking within a long-term context
Relevant research areas: East Asia, Contemporary, Relief printing