Baren

Baren

Baren (馬連、馬楝) is a Japanese tool used in printmaking processes such as woodcut or linoleum. The baren is a disk like device with a flat bottom and on the reverse side, a knotted handle. The baren is used to burnish (firmly rub) the paper to pick up ink that has been rolled onto a wood or linoleum cut with a hand roller called a brayer. Ink can also be applied to the block using brushes following the methods used in Japan where the baren originated. A disk inside the Baren takes 40-50 days to create, as the craftsman glues one sheet of paper on the disk each day. The disk must then dry for a year's time before the baren is assembled. Other parts of the Baren are woven and formed from parts of the bamboo plant, requiring the skill of a true master. Only one known person in Japan is still making traditional baren for a living. Large wooden spoons are also used as burnishing tools in printmaking.

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