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Star Wars Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints

by Lambert Varias
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Japanese company Run’A teamed up with Lucasfilm and a group of craftsmen to create officially licensed Star Wars prints made using ukiyo-e, a 17th century Japanese woodblock printing technique. The ~17″x 11″prints come in three designs, each limited to 100 copies: Darth Vader, the Battle of Hoth and Queen Amidala with R2-D2 and Anakin Skywalker.

Ukiyo-e prints are made through a tedious and manual process. For each design an artist draws a template, another carves that template into one or more woodblocks and then someone else inks and presses the blocks onto paper. Each block can be used with only one color, so the number of blocks for one design depends on how many colors are intended to appear on the final print.

Run’A is selling the prints through the Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake. Each print costs ~$440 (USD), though there’s also 10 bundles of all three prints for ~$1300. Check out Jed Henry and David Bull’s Ukiyo-e Heroes if you’re looking for more affordable geeky ukiyo-e prints.

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