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Japanese Aesthetics (6 weeks)


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Location Leicester Print Workshop
Date & Time Wednesday 14th June - Wednesday 19th July 2023
6.00pm - 9.00pm
Tutor  Sumiko Eadon

This course explores the theory and practice of Japanese Aesthetic notions and the idea of appreciating the imperfection and impermanence of all things. Through practising a wide range of printmaking and mixed media techniques, we will learn to understand complicated notions of Wabi-sabi and Mono No Aware which are outside of the usual Western understanding of beauty. This course will be a hands on experience which prioritises the journey and process of discovery, and a recognition of a different way of thinking, seeing and experiencing the world.

Course Structure

Session 1: Art of silence part 1

Release ourselves from negative thoughts

Working from the idea of Mushin and inspired by artists such as Agnes Martin, we will be exploring the art of lines and grids, and the practice of measuring, drawing and sewing. We will be working with repetitive patterns and self-imposed rules in a state of mindful concentration. Our aim is to reach a state of Mushin (mind of nothingness) where we release ourselves from negative thoughts.


Session 2: Art of silence part 2

Texture of silence

We will be experimenting with the idea of the texture of silence and make embossed paper using the studio’s presses. In a meditative mode of the mind, we will be listening to sounds of silence and interpret it into abstract or geometric art form. This is done by a collagraph technique, but ‘printing’ without ink. The plate will need to be varnished and dried, so if we don’t have time for the embossing part, we can do it in the next session. This means that it is important that the participants can attend both this session and the Session 3.


Session 3: Art of silence part 3

Listen to the colour

  1. We will continue the technique from the previous session first before moving onto our main activity of this session.
  2. Main activity of this session: Using acrylic paint and the embossed paper, we will take a close look at the colour white. Can we make the paint as close as possible to the colour of the paper? When we have experimented with white, can we apply this skill for other colour mixing? In this session, we will fine tune ourselves into the realm of subtlety.


Session 4: Wabi-sabi part 1

Let the unexpected beauty emerge

Caustic lino technique's temperamental and uncontrollable etch is ideal to experiment with the notion of Wabi-sabi, where we look out for the beauty in the imperfections. The participants will learn how to safely make and handle the caustic soda solutions and experiment with the etch. Let the fluid do its job, and let the unexpected beauty emerge.


Session 5: Wabi-sabi part 2

Perceive the uncontrollable grace

We will further pursue caustic lino etching. This session looks into compositions by cutting the lino blocks that we have made in the Session four. We will also search for subtle and expressive colours with printmaking inks, by mixing and layering. We can figure out how the colour works for our image, but also let serendipitous colour happen… appreciating and cherishing the nature of the uncontrollable.


Session 6: Mono no Aware

Treasure the impermanent

The notion of Mono No Aware is let us reflect on the thought that all things including our lives are transient (and precious!). In this session, we will be venturing a little more technical soft ground etching using plants of our choice. This session can be considered as an extension of Wabi-sabi exploration as we expect  imperfection, but we will also seek beauty in the impermanence. Further, the session will consider compositions with the usage of large open space.


About the Tutor

Sumiko Eadon is an artist based in Leicestershire working individually and collaboratively. She studied Fine Art in Loughborough University as a mature student. Since her graduation in 2013, she has developed her portfolio through residencies and has exhibited regionally and beyond. This includes AA2A at the University of Derby, LPW’s ‘Our Big Move’ residency, Surface Gallery graduate residency, Nottingham Castle Open, Flourish Award exhibition, the National Original Print Exhibition, London and a solo exhibition at New Art Exchange, Nottingham. She works as a freelance printmaking tutor and has worked with LPW, West Yorkshire Print Workshop, LU Arts and The New Art Gallery Walsall.


Instagram: @umikoseadon

Leicester Print Workshop 

Leicester Print Workshop is the regional development centre for printmaking. Established by artists in 1986, we are a registered charity, supported by Arts Council England. Our RIBA award-winning building is situated in Leicester City Centre's Cultural Quarter and is home to a large, well equipped open access Printmaking Studio.

We have over 30 years’ experience of teaching people printmaking. Our programme offers the largest number and broadest range of printmaking courses in the region, with courses suitable for beginners as well as experienced printmakers, delivered by practicing artists and nationally renowned tutors. Participants learn in small and friendly groups in our purpose-designed studio.


Online: You can book online here by credit / debit card or Paypal.

Telephone: You can pay by card over the phone during our opening hours (Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm). Call us on 0116 251 4174.

In person: Call in to Leicester Print Workshop during our opening hours (Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm) to book and pay by card, cash or cheque.

Pre-course information: We will send you details of how to find us and what to bring with you when we process your booking. 


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