Artist Feature: Jalal Poehlman of Poehlman Press

Poehlman Press
Phone: 213.344.9692

I had the pleasure of visiting Poehlman Press, a fine-art printing studio in Downtown Los Angeles. Jalal Poehlman, artist and founder of Poehlman Press, works closely with each individual for every printing job. His clientele ranges from artists around the world, galleries, photographers, exclusive hotels, casinos, and more, many of which continuously come back for multiple projects. Some of his favorite projects include photographer Hannah Collins for the Ford Foundation and John Baldessari in 2002. Jalal showed me around his printing studio and a few of his wonderful prints. He also shared some insight on printing with paper and profiles. This led into a collaboration project we are working on with Jalal to print on washi for people to see at our retail location. Here is a little Q&A with Jalal Poehlman on printing:

How did you get into the profession of printing?

As an art student in the 90s, I became interested in ways to output digitally created artwork. After reading Walter Benjamin’s 1936 essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility”, I became fascinated by the potential of reaching a larger and more diverse audience through digital and mechanical reproduction. At that time, there was only one type of printer that came close to producing similar image quality of a traditionally exposed color photograph. That printer was the venerable IRIS inkjet printer, which had the unique advantage of the ability to make those prints on a large variety of art papers, including washi. Very few people had done the engineering necessary to convert these $126,000 complex and finicky pre-press proofing systems to produce fine art. One of those pioneers is a man named Jack Duganne who is the owner and master print maker at Duganne Ateliers in Santa Monica. After leaving graduate school and landing in Los Angeles I asked around about who was doing the best digital printmaking in Los Angeles and I was told a number of times that it was Jack Duganne. Because I could not otherwise afford to learn and use the technology I needed in order to produce my artwork I knocked on Jack’s door and asked him for a job. Jack is a great teacher and lovely human being and 15 years later and with much thanks to him here I am.

What are some differences with printing on washi compared to other paper?

Washi papers offer much more variety of texture, weight, tone and color as compared to other papers and especially to other fine art quality inkjet papers. Washi papers also tend to be much stronger than western cotton papers and like gampi for example, can remain strong as a very thin and translucent material.

Lastly, do you have any advice or tips with printing on washi for people?

Ideally when printing fine art and photography, custom profiling including sophisticated ink-limiting and linearisation should be performed for each ink/paper/resolution combination. When that is done, the maximum imaging potential of each paper is achieved. I use professional profiling hardware and software as well as a third party RIP to maximize print quality and accuracy.

Short of the professional approach, I have a few tips for printing washi on a high quality inkjet printer such as offered by HP, Canon, and Epson. Generally, the brighter white the paper is, the better color and contrast you will be able to achieve. Ironically, the dominant inkjet printer technology is Japanese and I have never seen a washi printing preset in any print drivers. Perhaps that is because of the huge variety of hand and machine made washi papers available. The paper settings in your print driver among other things controls the amount of ink that is allowed to go onto the paper. Coated washi papers can accept more ink than uncoated papers, they will give the best results. Experiment with fine art paper settings when using coated washi paper. When using uncoated papers, I’ve found that picking a plain paper setting often works best. When an image doesn’t come out as brilliantly as we want sometimes the first instinct is to lay down more ink. Quite often we are overloading the paper giving us muddy looking prints. Better results may be obtained from laying down less ink.
Thank You, Jalal!

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Filed under About Washi, Artist Submissions, Customer Tip, Digital Art, Paper, Updates, Written by Joey

Laura Viñas: Whisper project

Whisper by Laura Viñas
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” Whisper is a project developed by Laura Viñas at The I-Park Foundation during her July 2014 Residency.
The installation is made of watercolours on Tengucho paper. It is inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ Afterglow.
The boundless spaces and unique horizon of the Pampa landscape are subtly portrayed in this beautiful poem. “

Laura used the MMN-1 Tengucho 5g papers for these watercolors.

Check out this video to see the papers in action!

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Filed under Around the World, Artist Submissions, Written by Yuki

From Japan: All-Japan Handmade Washi Association

50 Years of the All-Japan Handmade Washi Association

by Satoshi Hasegawa/Translated by Yuki Katayama

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Mino papermaker Satoshi Hasegawa in his early years

The All Japan Handmade Washi Association is an organization constructed of Japanese papermakers from around the country. Established in 1963, this group has acted as a prime spot for information exchange for 50 years. Though our activities and members have decreased since establishment, the association is still striving to preserve handmade washi.

Back in March, we all gathered to look back on the past 50 years. We were surprised to realize that many of the past records and documents had not been organized or even stored, so there was almost no records of the first 25 years of association activity. There was one individual we came across while organizing data that caught my attention. From the documents I could tell that he was a very devout ‘washi-lover’, who put much effort into succeeding the washi traditions to further generations.

He also greatly contributed to Hon Mino paper being chosen as an Important Intangible Cultural Asset, stating that “We must make (Hon Mino) an Intangible Cultural Asset, before we lose the paper forever”.

I feel that these countless efforts from past individuals is one of the main reasons handmade washi has survived for all these years.

Handmade washi has been proposed to UNESCO for their Intangible Cultural Heritage candidate as “Traditional Japanese washi”, but there are many existing problems in washi production and well as succeeding the traditions.

I wonder what the dedicated, washi-loving individual would say about the current situation of handmade washi. Though I can never meet him, I can’t help but want to exchange thoughts and ideas with him.

From Hiromi Paper:
Like Hasegawa-san, we at Hiromi Paper are also concerned about the decrease in papermakers that are able to make high-quality washi. We hope that we can be of help to those Japanese papermakers and preserve their traditions.

Thank you, Hasegawa-san, for always sending us your lovely and wonderful Mino papers!
See them here: HP-01 Hon Mino, HP-02 Usu Mino, HP-04 Usu Mino Thin, HP-05 Chochin, HM-54 Usu Mino Thinnest.

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Filed under About Washi, From Japan, Paper, Papermaking, Written by Yuki

Jennifer Moon x The Fire Monkey for Hammer Museum

Artist Jennifer Moon and bookbinder George Busby of The Fire Monkey have collaborated on a book project, a part of the “Made in LA” exhibition at Hammer Museum!

This is an especially interesting collaboration for Hiromi Paper as well, because when Jennifer had been searching for a local bookbinder, we were the ones that first recommended George at The Fire Monkey; whom we’ve had a close relationship with for many years. We are so glad this collaboration worked out, and together they created such a wonderful book!

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The book itself is a half leather-binding with a gold leaf pressed emblem on the front, a logo that Jennifer had made especially for this show.
Inside papers are inkjet prints on all Amate Solid Natural. Continue reading

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Filed under Art & Conservation, Artist Submissions, Bookcloth, Books, Digital Art, Event, Paper, Written by Yuki

A Visit to TreeSpace Studio

TreeSpace Studio

Amy T. Won

www.treespacestudio.com

Watercolors on Khadi.

It started out as a project to create her wedding invitations, and escalated to more invitation requests from couples. Amy is now taking the time to work on her own art. She has been drawing all her life, and attended school for architecture. During a mission to find paper sources, she was led to us, and we have been big fans ever since the first time she brought in her work! Last week, Yuki and I were more than excited to be able to visit her enchanted studio. Take a look around!

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Filed under Around the World, Artist Submissions, Decorative, Paper, Written by Joey

Koinobori along Niyodo River

May 5th is Children’s Day in Japan, when traditional carp-shaped koinobori are flown in the air for children in the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong.
These carp patterns are usually drawn onto paper, cloth or unwoven fabric.

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Although the traditional way of displaying koinobori is to hang them from high poles outside of homes, the people of Inomachi do things a little differently…
DSC_3796Since 1995 when the event started, hundreds of koinobori are gathered at the famous Niyodo River, where the townspeople and people around Japan come together to enjoy this annual celebration. The koinobori designs are all on unwoven cloth made locally, which are durable enough to be flown in the wind and ‘swim’ in the streams of Niyodo River. This unwoven cloth is an “in-between” of paper and cloth, since the synthetic fibers are bound together randomly like the characteristic of Japanese papermaking.DSC_3797-ERASER
DSC_3802People can choose to see the swimming koinobori up-close on small boats!DSC_3806DSC_3808 2

The event is usually from April 24th – May 5th, throughout the long Japanese vacation of Golden Week.
I personally would love to see this in person someday!

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Thank you Chinzei-san (Hidaka Washi) for the amazing pictures!

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Filed under Around the World, Event, From Japan, Paper, Written by Yuki

Larry Bell: custom-made papers

Last week, we delivered special ordered papers to artist Larry Bell, and saw his new studio space!

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Larry, with his new work on red Japanese papers

These thick papers were dyed especially for Larry, by a papermaker in Fukui, Japan.

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His beautiful new studio space!

Feel free to contact us about custom sizes or colors of papers!

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Filed under Art & Conservation, Artist Submissions, Paper, Special Order, Written by Yuki